The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ initiative is to build ties between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers. The activities educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind-the-scenes at the racecourse.
A total of 285 fifth and sixth class pupils from local schools took part in demonstrations from R.A.C.E. (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and heard talks from jockey Ken Whelan and local Limerick trainer John Fitzgerald about their day-to-day routines and life in racing. The pupils also met Limerick Racecourse’s General Manager, Conor O’Neill, who explained how the team at Limerick Racecourse prepares for a raceday. The children were entertained by Annemarie Cullen from ‘Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids’ with racing games, puzzles and quizzes. She also showed the pupils racing silks, horse shoes, racing tack, and feed.
All the pupils received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag at the end of the day which included complimentary tickets to go racing at Limerick.
Conor O’Neill, General Manager at Limerick Racecourse commented: “I was absolutely delighted to welcome primary school children from the local community to Limerick Racecourse and give them an insight into horseracing. We have such a fantastic facility at their doorstep and I am looking forward to welcoming them back to Limerick Racecourse on Sunday 29th March for our Family Fun raceday. After all these are the racegoers of the future.”
Jockey Ken Whelan said: “It was a great opportunity for the school kids to visit their local track. I couldn’t believe how much they knew about racing and they had loads of great questions about what is involved in being a jockey. I think some of them may even consider becoming jockeys!”