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Pilot of the new Rider Coaching Programme is a great success with a 100% pass rate Image

Pilot of the new Rider Coaching Programme is a great success with a 100% pass rate

Monday, 15 October 2018

We are delighted to announce that the first generation of stable staff ‘rider coaches’ have successfully passed their qualifications and are now certified to develop junior and more inexperienced riders in training yards.

The rider coaches have been part of a pilot scheme aimed at providing senior racing staff with coaching skills to help those within their place of work to progress their riding ability. This will address skills gaps within the workforce and aims to increase staff retention, as well as giving both the rider coaches and those they are helping better career progression opportunities.

The pilot was run by the Northern Racing College and funded by the BHA and Racing Foundation. It took staff from the yards of Mark Johnston, Karl Burke, Jedd O’Keeffe and Laurence Mullaney along with staff from the Northern Racing College.

Due to the demand for places on this initial course, a second course will be offered over the winter at the Northern Racing College before being rolled out nationally. The qualified rider coaches were presented with their Level 1 Coaching Qualification at a ceremony at York Racecourse on Saturday 13 October by BHA Executive Director Will Lambe.

Gill Greeves, Vocational Training Manager at the BHA, said:

The addition of a nationally recognised coaching qualification will not only boost the career options of those who have taken it, but the expertise they can pass on to less experienced members of staff should help to close the skills gaps which can so often be an issue in trying to retain racing staff. It is testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the first group of newly qualified rider coaches that we had a 100% pass rate on this initial pilot scheme, and we are looking forward to staging another course and rolling out the programme nationally in the coming months.

We would like to thank both the Northern Racing College and the Racing Foundation, as well as York Racecourse for their support with the presentation ceremony.”

Jedd and Andrea O’Keeffe, who volunteered one of their employees to take part in the scheme, said:

"We were delighted to have had the opportunity to nominate experienced members of our team to take part in this exciting training initiative. The interview and induction process recognised the significant industry experience, existing skills, knowledge, expertise and qualities of our staff.  The course was tailored to meet the specific, individual needs of each senior member of staff to develop the coaching skills required to support and guide their team in the racing yard more effectively.

Watching our senior staff grow in confidence through the course was fantastic.  They found the course content interesting and thought provoking, the tasks were challenging and they were highly motivated throughout.  The opportunity to train alongside other senior staff from yards local to us was a real bonus, they found this very beneficial and a very positive aspect of the course.

As the course progressed we saw our whole team benefit from the training received by the senior staff.  As a direct result of the training, our senior staff have greater confidence and skills to coach and support.  This has resulted in all our employees being better supported and guided in the yard, on a day to day basis. 

Achievement of the qualification recognises our senior staff as experienced professionals with the knowledge and expertise to support anyone in the workplace who is new to the industry or wants to develop their skills. 

Taking part in this project has been a very positive experience for all our team.  We are very confident that we will see long term benefits in having trained and qualified coaches as core members of our workforce."


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