THE Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) launched its Proud Member Campaign at Punchestown Racecourse on Saturday.
The Proud Member Campaign, which will be rolled out nationwide over the coming weeks and months, is a sign of solidarity between racecourses nationwide.
The initiative is a demonstration of unity and peer-to-peer support amongst members of the Association, and further activation of the objectives set out in their 2020-2024 strategic plan. In that plan keeping all racecourses united, a focus on communications, and an ethos of members supporting one another were all clearly identified as top priorities.
Paddy Walsh, CEO of AIR commented: “It’s quite appropriate that we launched this initiative in the AIR admissions area at Punchestown. AIR provides the entry card admission system at all Irish racecourses, through which industry personnel are permitted access to racecourses on any given raceday. From owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff to officials, the media and bookmakers, the AIR card system is the key through which they get to work or enjoy their day at the races. Continuous engagement between AIR and all our stakeholders is important.”
Chairman of AIR and the CEO of Punchestown Racecourse, Conor O’Neill, added: “This campaign is quite significant in that it delivers on many aspects of the strategic plan. It is also a boost for racecourse personnel all over the country. The teams at racecourses have worked extremely hard during the pandemic to ensure the continuation of horse racing. Even when members of the association could not open their gates to admit their regular patrons, annual members and sponsors, they ensured the show could still go on for the wider industry.
“Over the last two years members of the Association, in particular our racecourse managers, have really supported one another. Innovative solutions and best practices were quickly established and shared on regular virtual meetings that were organised and hosted by AIR. There is a remarkable commitment to one another, and the peer-to-peer learning and support shown by our members is extraordinary. The Proud Member Campaign represents all of that effort, and so much more.”
Racecourses nationwide will roll out the initiative at their upcoming fixtures to ensure regional media coverage and publicity for each member racecourse. Thurles Racecourse was quick off the mark to activate their participation when they raced on Thursday this week. Their manager, Kate Molony, commented: “Being a member of the Association of Irish Racecourses is important to us here at Thurles. Being a racecourse manager can be a challenging position at times, and AIR ensures unity and peer-to-peer support where we can learn from one another, share our experiences with each other, and establish best practices. We’re delighted to officially launch the campaign here at our racecourse today.”
Thurles has another two exciting racemeetings to look forward to in the run up to Christmas. Thursday, November 25th is a popular Christmas party date with a difference for those looking for an exciting, and mainly outdoor, option this year. The feature race of the day is the Listed BetVictor Chase.
Sunday, December 19th offers a fun and festive atmosphere, complete with the feature race on the card, the Listed Mares Hurdle, and the Molony Cup. To book your tickets and punter packages visit www.thurlesraces.ie.
Further information on the AIR Proud Member Campaign, and how racecourses can get involved, is available at air.ie.