National Student Day set for 26 October

A message for Rod Street?

A message for Rod Street?

Great British Racing has come up with a new initiative to encourage a new generation of people to come racing. Following on from a “student day” at Limerick in April, which attracted more than 12,000 students, GBR is to hold a similar event on Saturday 26 October.

Announcing the plans at the annual meeting of the Racehorse Owners’ Association, GBR chief executive Rod Street said the sport would be the first to hold a National Student Day. He said that one of racing’s great assets was that many racecourses offered free admission to under 18s or under 16s, and the day aimed to build on that. "Fast forward a few years and that kid we've entertained joins one of the many university racing clubs we've set up around the country and they continue to come racing, perhaps starting to enjoy the social aspect of race-going as a group."

Doncaster, where it is Racing Post Trophy day, Aintree, Newbury, Chepstow, Stratford and Wolverhampton will all charge a uniform price of £10, aiming to generate the biggest student attendance on any one day at sporting events. That may be difficult to confirm, as many events don’t offer any kind of discount at all, so it isn’t possible to calculate numbers.

Half the money generated from attendance will go back to university racing clubs, and to help the impoverished students further, the tracks will lay on free coach travel on the day. Street said, “We are inspired by what Limerick have done in Ireland with their student day when they get a staggering 12,000 students coming along. We might not start with lofty ambitions like that but it’s great that we’ve got the racecourses doing a day for a really important audience.”

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