British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust renamed ‘Racing to School’

This month, BHEST will change its name to Racing to School and introduce two new educational programmes designed to encourage young people to pursue a career in horseracing.

Racing to School was previously just used as the title of the education programme, which would be instantly recognisable to regular racegoers by the colourful sight of schoolchildren wearing racing silks as they are guided through the inner workings of the sport on a raceday.

“Racing to School is an established and well-loved name within racing and across a nationwide network of schools and colleges with whom we work,” said the charity’s Executive Director Judith Allen.

“We decided to bring all our activity under the banner of our popular name as it better reflects what the charity does today and the new education-based programmes that we are developing. Announcing our new name is the first stage of the charity’s rebranding process.”

Racing to School will continue this year to work with every UK racecourse and over 180 schools across 250 activity days and is working with more closely with the breeding industry.

“Racing provides a fast-moving classroom, which challenges young people with relevant numeracy, literacy and problem-solving tasks. Whether assessing and converting weight on the jockeys’ scales; measuring the perimeter of the parade ring or handicapping themselves against their classmates for a handicap sprint down the final furlong – whatever the going – the children are presented with a healthy, challenging and unique learning day. The positive feedback from schools tells us that the programme can improve skills, and increase confidence and interest,” explained Allen.

Racing to School is expanding its work with the launch of two new collaborative programmes to be piloted this year. Building upon the success and experience of its original Education Programme, the charity is focussing on inspiring more young people from all backgrounds to consider what the racing and breeding industries have to offer – both as a potential career path and as a sport to enjoy and follow for a lifetime.

The Work Programme will support mandatory careers education in participating schools by engaging racing’s employers to attend schools to speak to young people. First-hand insight into the varied and rewarding opportunities and training routes into the sport will lead on to real work experience and employment openings.

Using the same broad approach, The Riders’ Programme will work with those who have shown a committed interest in equestrianism, whether through membership of The Pony Club or enrolment at an Equine College – these organisations routinely report a low knowledge base and interest in racing.

“The Racing to School team is well placed to deliver these new programmes with their unique mix of educational and racing experience,” said Zoe Elliott BHA Careers Marketing and Recruitment Manager.

“Within the industry’s careers marketing strategy, engaging more deeply with young people that are interested in horses but have not considered horseracing as a potential career is key, as they are evident in large numbers.  We are excited to be working alongside the Racing to School team on the development of these programmes, which amongst other things will support the promotion of as a central portal of information on the training and careers options available, and provide a great starting point to a young person’s journey into the racing industry.”