An odd title for a story by The British Racing School you might think? A further education establishment which prides itself on being the leading provider of training for the British, and International, Horseracing industries and with an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating for the education being delivered. But that rating is based on the complete education provided and that means teaching our trainees about life as well as riding and caring for Racehorses.
This holistic curriculum has grown and developed over the years and is known as the Life Skills Programme. As part of our trainees schedule they have evening sessions programmed which include a lot of subjects:
- Cooking lessons (at least 3 per course)
- Fitness (2 or 3 times per week)
- Personal Safety (includes self-defence and dealing with conflict)
- Health & Hygiene (including registering with doctors and dentists)
- Transition to the Workplace (appearance, time keeping etc)
- Safe driving
- Cyber safety
- Gambling and alcohol awareness
- First Aid
- Diet & Nutrition
As well as this, each course also takes a team building trip to the forest, have talks from Racing Welfare, a Racehorse Trainer, National Association of Stable Staff and Diploma Revision sessions, which underpins the learning they do in the yard every day.
It’s a busy schedule for the 6, 12 or 18 weeks (new course lengths for 2021) but is all vital for starting out a career in any industry, not just horseracing.
Duncan Gregory, Operations Manager “People might imagine that the courses are all about riding, and whilst that is the primary motive, many of the young people will graduate from our residential course and go on to live independently for the first time in their life. The purpose of the Life Skills programme is to give them the knowledge, skills and confidence to do this as safely and happily as possible. We’re extremely grateful to Racing Welfare who help to fund this programme.”
Cole Harris (course 343) “The life skills that are taught at the BRS are really valuable. They really prepare us for the big, wide world. They’ve taught us about cooking, safe driving, awareness on the roads plus many more things, including drinking and drug awareness which are really important. I’m very grateful I’ve been taught these things and feel ready to tackle the world outside”.
So, there really is more to life than racehorses but who would want a life without racehorses? Not us!