Over 300 School Children have taken part this week in Horse Racing Ireland’s ‘Go Racing Kids Club’ Education Day at Galway Racecourse.
The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ initiative is to educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind-the-scenes at a racecourse. It also builds relationships between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers.
It is a powerful way to foster interest and there is a major impact on eventual support of a sport among those who have experienced it live before the age of ten.
Racing benefits doubly in that children generally go free to race meeting up to the age of 16 making it a better value family day out than many.
Over 300 fifth and sixth class pupils from seven local schools took part. As part of the day they spent time walking the track with racecourse manager, Michael Moloney who explained how the team at Galway Racecourse prepare the track for its festival in early August.
County Galway man and 11-time champion point-to-point rider, Derek O’Connor spoke to the children about his day-to-day routine as a jockey, the safety equipment riders must wear, and his many successful wins.
Racehorse trainer Fergus Hanley and groom Tazmen Murray gave the children a brief insight into their lives in racing and introduced them to racehorse Milo.
The pupils received demonstrations on a racehorse simulator and took part in the ‘Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids’ racing-themed games, puzzles and quizzes.
Each pupil received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag, which included two complimentary tickets to go racing at Galway on the final day of the summer festival 2017, Mad Hatters Day on Sunday 6th August, which includes a family fun day with lots of free activities for children.
“We had a great time today with all the pupils from our local schools,” said Moloney.” The activities here educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind the scenes at Galway in the lead up to the festival.”
“It was a really great day,” added one of the kids, Julianne, from Tirellan National School.
“My favourite part was seeing the racehorse Milo. I can’t wait to go racing with my family and see Milo racing on the track.”