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Sparking an interest

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  • #1507281
    • Total Posts 763

    What radical thing could racing do that would have the biggest impact in generating an interest in racing among the 12-24 year old age group?

    Nathan Hughes
    • Total Posts 23841

    Have horses/pony’s at schools
    race against other schools

    Member since March 2008
    • Total Posts 55

    I remember the BHA or was it Great British racing came up with an ‘initiative’ to get students ‘interested’ in racing.
    Trouble was, and it didn’t take much working out if they were in touch with real life but there was one major flaw. Students haven’t got any money!

    If this thread is about recruitment and the next generation so to speak, the ONLY way to get kids interested in racing is making sure their parents bring them along. One would then hope that the experience rubs off on them and when they can afford or able to go themselves, that is your ‘natural’ way of recruitment.

    I am sure it’s always been like this, bitten by the bug at an early age when you visit.

    • Total Posts 8840

    I would argue that for most of us it was either an encounter on television or having a relative (father/mother grandfather/granny uncle/aunt, etc) who was interested rather than a racecourse visit.

    Somehow or other you have to find a way of putting the sport in front of people. I think if you can do that the rest takes care of itself. That is the big challenge I think.

    • Total Posts 55

    I wonder what the youngster’s think of ITV racing? Whether that puts them off!

    • Total Posts 1386

    Getting rid of the whip.

    Too many people still associate racing with animal cruelty; while most accept that injuries (and even fatalities) are an inevitable part of the game, the youngsters to whom I speak still see flogging an animal as completely unnecessary.

    • Total Posts 128

    It’s an interesting one. My dad was the reason i got into racing. Without him i may not have had any interest in the sport.

    The way i see it there are 2 major hurdles (pardon the pun) preventing interest in the younger age group; money and opportunity.

    Most young boys like football, for example, because from an early age they play it. They’re not particularly interested in watching it but as they grow up they take more of an interest in the hobby that they took up as a toddler. How many kids get to ride a horse/pony? In the main the answer is the rich or perhaps those from a farming background. It’s not an obvious hobby, nor is it a cheap one.

    Racing ownership is even more of a closed shop due to the absurd prices paid. It’s not exactly a game of the people is it? Then there is the negative publicity towards betting which is inextricably linked to racing.

    Those are my thoughts on the issues preventing a greater interest in the younger ages but i’m afraid i don’t have any easy solutions :negative:

    • Total Posts 7863

    Whenever there’s a meeting eg Royal Ascot everyone is very sneering about the amount of tv time taken up with fashion. But racing has always been a social event. I’ve said before that, quite often us laidees buy an outfit for a wedding and there’s never anywhere else to wear it. The exception being going to a ladies day at the racetrack.My DIL had her hen do at the races and I know many men have their stag do’s there too Maybe, just maybe, some of those people that go racing as a social event find that they actually enjoy the racing itself and carry on going. I don’t even mention racing to anyone these days because of the criticism I get about it being cruel etc. My own children seem to put as much effort as possible into showing no interest in racing even though I used to take them racing when they were young. And when my daughter had a pony virtually no one I knew in the horse world were interested in it, only eventing and show jumping. So I don’t know what the answer is. Is it still more universally popular in Ireland these days? Maybe if we could turn the Grand National into a flat race [which it virtually is these days anyway] and guarantee that no horses were injured we could turn it into our very own Melbourne Cup.I so envy the Australians having a race that everyone loves.

    • Total Posts 1002

    lol at Nathan’s idea – Imagine the logistics of that!

    • Total Posts 55

    And of course at present, we have the virus hanging over everyone everywhere. There’s no ‘recruitment’ going on as people can’t attend.

    I love watching racing and only bet from time to time if I fancy it. We shouldn’t forget attached to the sport is gambling and a lot of people have got into problems because of it. Have a few winners and you see it as a new income, but we know you should enjoy the good times as those winning streaks will run out.

    That’s another reason why people like it, the buzz, even at those early ages mentioned in the OP.

    As a spectacle, there’s probably no better sport, but I don’t think anyone should ‘push’ anyone towards racing. It’s often attached to gambling and there’s a lot of naive inexperienced people who can quickly get into difficulty.
    Again, especially at those ages mentioned in the OP should we be ‘driving’ this age group towards the sport. This age group which probably has less money than anyone and are easily turned if they see a good thing as in a few winners and some short lived extra money.

    Do you know what as I type, I go more against the idea of actively trying to get youngsters to attend or be interested for the latter reasons above.

    • Total Posts 2697

    The answer is not a lot. Only getting rid of the whip and abolishing jump racing will and that is too radical.

    The ones not following the sport regard both as animal cruelty from feedback ive received over the years.

    • Total Posts 1225

    What “young people” need is an explanation of animal welfare and this is an excellent intro geared very much towards the bright young things that make up that audience

    • Total Posts 588

    The Melbourne Cup is about the worst model of a race we should be aspiring to covet.In terms of injuries they ought to be jealous of the Grand national. I thought the big thing in Australia was the levels of minute percentage ownership in horses. On a general point it’s very hard to say what facets of the sport may appeal to someone. I didn’t attend a meeting till I was in my twenties but had been interested as a youngster.

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 762

    Why should we care what ignorant people “think” about anything? And why does racing waste so much time, effort and money chasing an audience that is not interested? I find it genuinely baffling.

    Racing should spend more time and effort looking after its core audience and the people who work in the sport – the people who actually care about it.

    Although there may not be that many racecourses left by the time this has all finished.

    • Total Posts 116

    MIKE007 why on earth would suggest banning jump racing? It’s the most popular arm of our sport

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