CHAMPIONS WEEKEND 2014: New racing education programme to inspire students

This year Newmarket Racecourses and Newmarket Academy are staging the inaugural Future Champions Education Week, supported by Dubai.

The week has been developed to help raise the employment aspirations and expectations of the Academy’s students, help engage them with the history and heritage of the town and community they live in and create a fun and fresh environment to learn in.

Newmarket’s main racing bodies have come together for this project, including the National Horseracing Museum, The National Stud, Racing Welfare, Newmarket Equine Hospital and The Jockey Club Rooms. They have all given up time, resources and facilities to support the initiative.

Starting on Monday 13th October, Year 8 students from Newmarket Academy will have the opportunity to visit key organisations within the racing industry in Newmarket and gain an understanding of the importance of Horseracing in the town. The week will culminate on Dubai Future Champions Day at The Rowley Mile on Friday 17th October.

The week will be split up into different themed days starting off with History and Heritage, where the students will visit historic racing landmarks in the town such as the Jockey Club Rooms and the National Horseracing Museum.

Throughout the week students will undertake racing-related tasks and lessons incorporating topics such as science, geography, history, art, fitness, nutrition, photography and fashion design. They will also take part in a Business and Marketing workshop based around running a racecourse.

Newmarket Academy’s 6th Form Business Studies group will also be involved in the week, developing their leadership skills as they help teachers facilitate the week and participate in career’s events.

As part of the Future Champions Education Project, a career ‘Speed Dating’ event will provide 6th Form students with the opportunity to learn about the many diverse roles within the industry.

Students will get to spend three minutes talking to people who are employed in a variety of roles throughout racing, learning about jobs in areas such as veterinary, marketing, legal, hospitality, finance and catering as well as yard and horse care roles.

The Academy’s Photography Group will also get involved on Dubai Future Champions Day by photographing the raceday and those pictures will be exhibited in the town centre.

The week will culminate on Dubai Future Champions Day when all students who participated get the opportunity to come racing. They will also display the hats they made in a Fashion Show before racing.

The Dubai Future Champions Education Week will be developed each year working closely alongside the ‘Newmarket Vision’. Its objective is that each student will not only gain a greater understanding of the racing industry, but also the history and heritage of the community and town they live in.

In a recent economic impact study it was estimated that the racing industry’s total economic contribution to Newmarket was over £200 million pounds. The industry as a whole directly employs in the region of 18,000 people, with over 3,000 of those being based in and around Newmarket.

Amy Starkey, Regional Director – East, Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “It is our aim to help inspire these students through racing in whatever direction or industry they wish to work in.

“We are delighted to help play a role in developing the future champions of Newmarket’s community whilst giving them an insight into the importance of racing and how the industry works.”

Rachel Hood, Mayor of Newmarket, commented: “The education programme is a superb initiative and one that will benefit the students of Newmarket Academy and the town as a whole.

“It’s crucial that the children of Newmarket are introduced to the contribution made by the racing and breeding industries to our unique and historic town and to do this as part of their education can be expected to engage them. Hopefully, it will encourage them to consider becoming involved in Horseracing in the future.

“This is a clear example of joined-up thinking with the horseracing industry engaging with its local young people through the newly constituted Newmarket Academy and its vibrant Headmaster and staff to make a positive difference to Newmarket.”

Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk, said: “It is fantastic news that Newmarket Academy is introducing the Horseracing education programme. Newmarket is the global headquarters of Horseracing, creating 9,000 jobs locally so I wholeheartedly support an education programme which teaches local students what makes their town so unique. This programme will further strengthen the ties between Horseracing and the local community.”

Nick Froy, Head Teacher at Newmarket Academy, said: “Newmarket Academy is delighted to be working closely with the racing community in the town and surrounding areas. The plans for a week of learning for our entire year 8 cohort based around the many aspects of the industry is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for the Academy.

“We are immensely grateful for the support of so many parts of the industry. We are clear that our students will have a far better understanding of the industry, how it supports the town and its surrounding area and above all the many opportunities for employment in the industry.”


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