Nearly 80% of Oxford parents say cost prevents children from participating in outdoor activities

Parents want children to spend more time outdoors during the summer holidays and call for more cost‐effective options

Tess Daly is an ambassador for Great British Racing’s Under 18s Race Free campaign.

A new study has revealed that 79% of parents in Oxford believe there aren’t enough low‐cost activities available for children during the summer holidays, leading to more children spending fewer hours outside.

In research commissioned by Great British Racing for its ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign, it was found that parents in the city are becoming increasingly concerned with the sedentary lifestyle of their children, with 82% of parents wanting their children to spend more time outdoors during the school holidays.

The majority of outdoor activities on offer, however, are considered to be too expensive, with live sporting events highlighted as being particularly pricey – 69% of parents have been put off taking their children to live sport because of the cost of the ticket, while almost 70% of parents surveyed do not take their children to live sport at all.

Great British Racing ambassador, and parent of two, Tess Daly commented, “As a parent, the school holidays provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your children, yet finding activities that are stimulating, healthy and affordable can be a challenge. As a child my parents went out of their way to take me to live sport and I do the same for my kids now – there’s nothing better than a day at the races. As well as the thrill of the racing, the kids are able to run around in the fresh air and there are plenty of activities for them too, from having their faces painted to meeting race horses.”

Tess is promoting Great British Racing’s unique ‘U18s Race Free’ offering through which accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of fixtures at Britain’s 60 racecourses throughout the year, when accompanied by an adult. Newbury racecourse is less than a 40-minute drive from Oxford, offering eight race meetings during the summer holidays, including a family day 28th July, as part of this Dubai International Arabian Raceday.

Harriet Collins, Director of Marcomms for Newbury Racecourse said, “We are delighted to be involved with Great British Racing’s national ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign for another year. Here at Newbury, we are always keen to encourage families to explore the racecourse when they come here, be it via one of the behind the scenes tours in the Weighing Room, visits to the start or even a trip to the judge’s box. The fact that under 18s race for free is a fantastic asset for us to have to promote the sport. Our Dubai International Arabian Raceday on 28th July is a real family fun day and we have plenty of activities for all ages on offer throughout the afternoon, including a special appearance from star jockey, Bryony Frost who will be in attendance and a children’s best hat competition.”

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