British Horseracing Authority seeks to promote greater inclusion

Silvestre de Sousa with the Stobart Champion Jockey trophy
Silvestre de Sousa with the Stobart Champion Jockey trophy

Eight core areas have been identified as needing attention as the British Horseracing Authority seeks to promote greater inclusion in British racing.

The Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG), which was established in August 2017, has compiled a report which contains a series of recommendations which it hopes "will lead to short and long-term benefits to help British racing better reflect the diversity of wider society in terms of the sport's governance, participants, racegoers and fans".

A "focus on reaching new, culturally and ethnically diverse audiences through the sport's marketing and promotion, and ensuring the next generation of racing fans have the opportunity to interact with horses, in particular in urban environments" is the aim, with the BHA planning to recruit a new head of diversity and inclusion by the latter part of this year.

A raft of suggestions have been put forward in the report with research into the appeal of racing within minority communities, investigating how to reach the next generation of racing fans, supporting and promoting opportunities for female jockeys and launching a diversity event for stakeholders within the sport in early 2019 some of the headline recommendations.

Nick Rust, BHA chief executive and DiRSG chair, said: "The publication of this Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan is a moment we hope all in the sport will welcome. We have a collective responsibility to ensure the sport is as diverse and inclusive as possible and this plan seeks to ensure we have a focused approach to making that happen in the months and years ahead.

"At a time when we need to be attracting the best talent and growing our sport there is a clear commercial, as well as moral case, for making sure British racing is a sport where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential and where fans of all communities feel welcome."

Josh Apiafi, DiRSG member, added: "Every member of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group brings experience, expertise and energy to the discussion on diversity and inclusion.

"We want to support the excellent work already going on in the sport while helping to provide new ideas which can be developed and delivered on a collaborative basis, requiring commitment from everyone in the sport."

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