Top award for our inclusive raceday at Market Rasen Racecourse

on screen signing during racing
Market Rasen 31 Jul 2022 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

We’re celebrating with Market Rasen Racecourse after the UK’s first-ever “sensory” raceday experience, designed for people living with sight and hearing loss, scooped a top industry award.

The Lincolnshire venue’s charity partnership with Deafblind UK led to the exciting innovation which saw a number of new initiatives for the deafblind at the racecourse’s fixture on 31st July 2022.
This included big screens featuring a sign language interpreter as part of race commentary for all seven races, as well as a dedicated area by the last fence to enhance the sensory experience for those with audio or visual impairments.

Two races also featured the commentator and raceday presenter creating extra descriptive details aimed at those who are visually impaired.

The initiative scooped The Diversity & Inclusion Award at the annual Racecourse Association Showcase Awards, with the award aiming to celebrate initiatives which open horseracing to all and promote racecourses as accessible, welcoming venues.

Entries were asked to demonstrate how the racecourse has appealed to diverse audiences and made effective steps to be inclusive to all racegoers and/or members of staff.

Nadia Powell, General Manager at Market Rasen Racecourse, said: “The whole team across Market Rasen and our partners Deafblind UK are delighted to be recognised for our Sensory Raceday.
“It was a great first step to ensure we are doing all we can to make racing more accessible for those who are living with sight and hearing loss and we are excited to now build on the initiative moving forward.”

Steve Conway, CEO of Deafblind UK said: “Our relationship with the jockey club is a great example of how partnerships can benefit those with accessibility needs. For people with deafblindness, horse racing comes alive with the smells, touch and the vibrations as the horses race over the ground.

“Our members have thoroughly enjoyed their time at the racecourse, and to know that this has been recognised by the Jockey Club with this wonderful award, is a huge step forward for everyone with a sight or hearing impairment. We are thrilled to know that other sports venues can follow this lead, by providing more accessible sporting events.”

Wilf Walsh, Chairman of the RCA, commented: “Congratulations to Market Rasen Racecourse for their fantastic sensory raceday.

“In what has been a challenging year for racecourses, I was buoyed by the quality of the initiatives on show, not least this one which I hope will act as inspiration to other racecourses in future.

“The RCA will share the best practice arising from this year’s Showcase Awards amongst all racecourses in the year ahead.”

 

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