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Diversity report published

Diversity in Racing logoBritish racing's promotion to minority communities, improved opportunities and facilities for female jockeys, and engagement with urban audiences are among the core recommendations of a new report.

The proposals come from the Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG), which was established in August to support the industry in its efforts to enhance its diversity and inclusivity. Its members included ROA Board member Patricia Pugh.

Its first report detailed eight core issues to address in order to promote greater inclusion in the sport.

Alongside those it was also announced the BHA would be recruiting for a head of diversity and inclusion with the aim to have the position filled in the latter part of this year.

The eight core areas as identified by the report, and across which recommendations have been made by the DiRSG are:

1 Leadership
2 Understanding the British racing landscape
3 Role models, leaders and careers
4 Recognising and celebrating British racing’s workforce
5 Supporting and promoting opportunities for female jockeys
6 Promoting racehorse ownership
7 Attending, consuming and enjoying racing
8 Showcasing the horse and understanding the sport

Headline recommendations include working with Great British Racing and the Racecourse Association to better market racing to minority communities, investigating how to reach the next generation of race fans, particularly those in urban locations, and supporting and encouraging further opportunities for female riders.

This will include academic analysis of their performances, ensuring they are given equal chances compared to their male counterparts and working with the RCA and Professional Jockeys Association to audit facilities.

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."

The report comes a year after the publication of the women's representation and diversity in the horseracing industry report by Oxford Brookes University.

Membership of the DIRSG is as follows:

Josh Apiafi Rewards4Racing founder and director
Catherine Beloff BHA director of legal and governance
Linda Bowles the Jockey Club Group people director
Guy Disney jockey and The Royal Foundation project manager
Susannah Gill Alizeti Capital, director of communications and corporate affairs
Debbie Grey National Association of Stable Staff office manager
Francesca Leyland Regulus Partners gambling and sports adviser
Victoria Morgan the Jockey Club regional communications manager
Lee Mottershead Racing Post journalist
Rishi Persad ITV Racing presenter
Patricia Pugh Racehorse Owners Association board member and Packard Curator, Palace House, Newmarket
Harriet Rochester Rochester PR founder
Nick Rust BHA chief executive
Tanya Stevenson freelance sports journalist
Sulekha Varma Hamilton racing manager and clerk of the course
Laura Whyte BHA board member

A key recommendation of that was to form an independent body charged with helping create a more diverse sport.

Rewards4Racing founder and director Josh Apiafi is also part of the group and he said: "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."

Moving racing towards an ambition of a minimum 70:30 gender split for boards by 2021, to achieve parity with other sports, is another objective of the report, which states "some of the traditions and practises of the sport are out of kilter with modern British society".

Other priorities include developing "an environment in which everyone in the sport feels able and happy to be open about their sexuality" and initiating a "programme of work-rider races, as seen in other jurisdictions such as South Africa".

Ensuring racecards carry the names of staff looking after horses is another objective.

Read the full report here

4 July 2018

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