Newbury Racecourse Hosts A Raceday With A Difference As Inaugural Community Raceday Hailed A Success
Hundreds of first-time racegoers from broad range of communities enjoy complimentary invitations to Newbury Racecourse
Newbury Racecourse – as part of its ambition to make racing as accessible as possible – hosted its Community Raceday on Tuesday 29th August and threw its doors open to hundreds of first-time racegoers.
The raceday, which was presented in partnership with Community United and The Castle School, provided a platform for the celebration of a host of different nationalities, backgrounds, cultures and faiths with a programme of performances and activities hosted before the start of the afternoon’s racing.
This programme was arranged by Community United – a community interest group working across the region to promote inclusivity and equality – and saw music, dance and poetry contributed by performers from Zimbabwe, Cameroon, India and Afghanistan.
Community United work closely with Newbury Town Council, and the Council’s leader, Gary Norman, attended the raceday: “The programme of performances was fantastic and helped provide a markedly different experience on the raceday. There are a significant number of ethnic communities in West Berkshire and to see so many people from these diverse groups at the Racecourse, and enjoying the racing, was a really great thing.’’
The vast majority of those who performed and those who attended from Community United’s network – courtesy of complimentary invitations from the Racecourse – were doing so for the first time. Amala Prabhu, one of those in attendance, commented: ‘’It was my first-time visiting Newbury Racecourse; it was a really enjoyable day out. I was happy to have had the opportunity to spend a day at the races with both my parents and my children, and we all had fun.’’
August’s Community Raceday marked the start of Newbury Racecourse’s partnership with Community United – a partnership which hopes to create a meaningful legacy in the local area – and Alice Kunjappy-Clifton, Director of Community United, hailed what’s been a successful start: ‘’The raceday brought communities together and helped show what racing is all about. Many in our community groups wouldn’t have had the opportunity to attend an event like this before and they had a really good time. The element which pleased me the most was to see the togetherness of everyone at the Racecourse, smiling, laughing and enjoying the day’s entertainment.’’
Newbury’s Community Raceday also saw the Racecourse partner with The Castle School, which caters for children with a variety of complex learning difficulties. Pupils, along with their families, were able to make use of a state-of-the-art multi-sensory unit delivered by Rhino UK in partnership with Racing Together.
Louisa McClure, World of Work Manager at The Castle School thanked the Racecourse for the partnership: “We are so grateful for the complimentary invitations extended to our pupils and their families for the racing. For the majority of those who attended it was their first opportunity to enjoy live horse racing. We know that the families who did attend have created lasting special memories. We look forward to continuing to work with Newbury Racecourse to afford similar opportunities to the young people we support in the future.”
Newbury Racecourse is keen to ensure the positive impact of their recent Community Raceday extends even further in the future. Julian Thick, Chief Executive at Newbury Racecourse, commented: ‘’It is very important for us to ensure that a day at Newbury is as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. It was fantastic to welcome so many first-time racegoers and to read and hear the positive feedback from those who attended. It was a memorable day for the team here at Newbury and we look forward to more similar occasions in the future.’’