Racing Education Day at Naas Racecourse
Horse Racing Ireland Racing Education Day for Second Level Students Held at Naas Racecourse
Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) in association with the further education authority, SOLAS held a Careers and Racing Education Day at Naas Racecourse on Wednesday, November 23rd. The day was part of a larger nationwide initiative, College Awareness Week, which runs from November 21st to 25th.
During the week different organisations across the country hold local events to inform students about the importance of having a post-secondary education plan; inspiring them to pursue the course best suited to their interests, abilities and future plans, whether that is a PLC qualification, an apprenticeship or a university course.
Fourth, fifth and sixth year students from surrounding secondary schools were invited to attend the free event and explore the various career opportunities in racing. The day entailed talks from leading industry representatives and a chance to meet with various institutions offering further education programmes.
Curragh-based trainer, Willie McCreary met with the students and spoke candidly about how he got to where he is today, the attributes he values in his team and the importance of hard work. Jockey Kate Harrington echoed these thoughts as she spoke about the dedication that it takes to be a jockey and the importance of a passion for what you do.
Naas Racecourse Manager, Tom Ryan took the students on a tour of the track, explaining how his varied career to date has helped him in his role. Students also met with representatives of R.A.C.E (Racing Academy & Centre of Education), who outlined the training that goes into becoming an apprentice jockey. The Irish School of Farriery was also represented, they provided details to students about the apprenticeship training they offer and a number of their current apprentices performed live demonstrations.
The University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Maynooth, The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and the Curragh Post-Primary School were also on hand to answer the students’ questions.
Curragh Trainer Willie McCreary, said: “It’s very important for students to really think about what they want to do next. Racing offers a range of options for good people who are passionate about what they do and are willing to work hard. Hopefully we spurred a bit of thought in the students today about the possibilities in this industry.”
Patrick Ryan of the Careers and Racing Education Department in Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The horse racing industry is unique as it offers many different career options which appeal to many different people. It was fantastic to be able to showcase some of these careers. There was great interest from all of the students and we hope to hold more of these events in the future.”