New learning facilities unveiled at the Racing Centre in Newmarket
A new learning facility at the Racing Centre in Newmarket was formally opened on Friday evening by BHA chief executive Nick Rust and local MP, health secretary Matt Hancock.
The Racing Centre, formerly known as the New Astley Club, is a social hub in the heart of the town serving stud and stable staff and the wider community and is the headquarters of the National Association of Racing Staff (Nars).
The facility includes a new fully equipped IT suite, multi-purpose classrooms, meeting rooms and small conference facilities. Funding has come from the Moller Trust and Union Learn, the learning and skills organisation of the TUC, and bookmaker JenningsBet.
Nars chief executive and acting chairman of the Racing Centre George McGrath said: "This is to be about racing staff and community, with people looking to upskill themselves.
"We can all get bogged down in our day-to-day jobs, and we often think the door is shut to opportunities. We're providing that opportunity and we're starting with mentoring and team leadership, as we feel that is relevant to the racing community."
Rust, one of many racing personalities at the evening reception, said: “Our fantastic sport is on an upward curve in many, many respects and that is largely down to the hard and excellent work of the 17,000 people working in it, around 7,000-8,000 of whom are employed day to day looking after our equine stars."
He added: "Sometimes those individuals, their profession and the work they do is seen as a role that is not as important as some others in life.
"The skills and dedication of individuals riding what are in effect the equivalent of Lamborghinis – precocious ones – should never be underestimated and I think it’s the job of our industry to continue to recognise that and to continue to work to develop facilities that help make the lives of those individuals better.”
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