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New programme aimed at attracting teenagers to work in racing

Hayley Turner: came from a non-racing background
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Racing seeks to broaden its appeal as an industry for all to work in with the Take The Reins scheme launching at Lingfield on Tuesday.

The nationwide campaign, centred around Lingfield in the south and Richard Fahey’s yard in the north, is aimed at encouraging inner-city teenagers to seek careers within horseracing.

It is championed by sports charity Active Communities Network (ACN), with the backing of the BHA’s Racing Together initiative.

Lingfield has already hosted a number of visits for pupils from London, who have received behind-the-scenes tours of facilities on race days.

Now pupils will be offered the chance to undertake specific employability courses with work experience programmes offered at Lingfield and Fahey’s yard. Once completed, the qualification will allow them to use skills learned, within any role.

Amie Canham, Fahey's partner and a key instigator of the programme, said: "People aren’t exposed to racing enough and, not coming from a racing background myself, I thought a programme like this would open people's eyes.

Richard Fahey with partner Amie Canham, who said:' I thought a programme like this would open people's eyes'

"There isn't anything targeted at teenagers trying to get them involved to see what it was like to work within the sport. We have to try to find staff from somewhere, and hopefully in the long term there’ll be plenty of yards taking part in this."

Hayley Turner, an ambassador for ACN, believes the chance for teenagers from different backgrounds to experience racing can be only beneficial.

She said: “It’s great these young people get a chance to see the inner workings of the racing world.

"I didn’t come from a traditional racing background and was inspired by visiting a taster day, so if we can inspire these young people to think about a career in the racing industry that’s a great success.”

Lingfield’s executive director Andrew Perkins added: “We're delighted to be involved in this worthwhile initiative. We see it as truly sustainable and beneficial to both the young people and hopefully us in the long run, as we encourage them into the industry.”

Hopefully in the long term they’ll be plenty of yards taking part in this
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