School pupils get closer to their local racecourse

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI ) held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at Galway Racecourse on Tuesday when 288 fifth and sixth class pupils from five local schools took part in demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy and Centre of Education ) and heard talks from jockey Derek O’Connor and local trainer Pauline Gavin and her daughter Sarah.

Pauline Gavin brought along a horse called Lillymile which won a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe last month, and a pony called Rodney.

The schools that attended were: Brierhill National School, Holy Trinity National School, Menlo National School, Scoil Iognaid and St Francis National School

The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ initiative is to build ties between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future race-goers. The activities educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind the scenes on the racecourse.

All the children received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag at the end of the day which included complimentary tickets for racing at Galway this Sunday for their parents (as children go free ). There was also a competition element built into the day, as the children were invited to draw a picture of ‘Horse racing – what it means me’. Following their day at the track, as homework the children were asked to write an essay about their morning at Galway Racecourse.

John Moloney, Manager, Galway Racecourse said that he was enlightened by the number of students who attended the day and the interesting questions that they asked.

“I would like to say a special thank you to all of the people who gave to their time to make the day so interesting, Pauline Gavin, Derek O’Connor, RACE, Ann-Marie Cullen and HRI,” he said.

Lorraine Page, HRI marketing department, said that HRI has completed 12 ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ days so far since the initiative was launched in September 2010.

“At Galway Racecourse this week, the pupils showed great enthusiasm towards Derek and his many achievements and they thoroughly enjoyed meeting Pauline and the horses she brought along. RACE and the racehorse simulator were a hit with the kids also.

“We received great feedback from all the pupils and teachers involved. We’ll have two ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ days before Christmas at Wexford and Fairyhouse and we hope to do more in 2012.”

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