British Racecourses Join Global Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

13 July 2021

  • All British Racecourses to formally recognise the Sunflower lanyard
  • The Sunflower lanyards are a visual indicator of an invisible disability
  • Training and awareness resources shared by the RCA and Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

The Racecourse Association (RCA) has collaborated with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to formally recognise the global symbol of invisible disabilities, the Sunflower lanyard, at all British racecourses. Sunflower wearers can feel confident when attending events that staff will be able to identify them and offer additional support or time. The Sunflower lanyard is widely recognised around the world, including in Britain, where it assists people in the retail, travel, health and public services sectors.

Training and information packs have been created by the RCA and Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to assist racecourse staff in understanding what the Sunflower means and why individuals may choose to wear one. The scheme is a further layer to the sport’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan and builds on existing work in this area such as the Autism in Racing initiative, Ascot Racecourse’s Sunflower Lawn and #GoRacingGreen which is currently in situ at Nottingham, Newbury and Chester Racecourses.

Racegoers will be able to contact their chosen racecourse to request a Sunflower lanyard with pre-booked tickets or in some cases a limited number will be made available at racecourse entrances. Racegoers will also have the option to bring their own Sunflower lanyard which will be recognised in the same way by racecourse staff.

David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the RCA, commented “The RCA is pleased to offer the Sunflower lanyard scheme to racegoers across the country. This valuable initiative, whilst subtle, provides thousands of individuals with the peace of mind they need to enjoy their day.

“British Racing is an inclusive sport and a fantastic day out for all. By partnering with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower I believe this further demonstrates our commitment to educating ourselves in this important area and taking action with an initiative I hope will be of use to returning and new customers.”

Paul White, Chief Executive of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, commented “We couldn’t be more delighted that The Racecourse Association (RCA) have joined the growing global network of Sunflower members. By training their staff it is a clear demonstration that everyone is welcome at British racecourses. A day at the races means inclusive fun and enjoyment for all.”

Bobby Beevers, founder of Autism in Racing, commented “It is great to see the racing industry and Hidden Disabilities Sunflower working closely together to introduce this initiative. I wear a Sunflower lanyard whilst working on a number of racecourses and feel it is very important that all of us understand why some individuals wear the Sunflower. We must continue to educate not just within racing but society as a whole.”

Related resources