Young Performers to Celebrate Black History Month at the Races

Talented young performers will be marking Black History Month in front of racegoers at Lingfield Park with music, dance, poetry and tales – all in memory of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Using their own creativity, the young people will be celebrating their talents both before and during the National Hunt racing as Lingfield Park shows its support for charities working with ethnically diverse communities.

Racegoers will be able to meet horses from the Metropolitan Police’s Mounted Section, as well as youth support officers, cadets and members of the Black Police Association who will all be showing their support of the young people as they bring their multi-ethnic message to the racecourse.  Those performing include Hertfordshire-based Alternative and Indie Rock Band, Kick Pistol, Quinton Green (aka Champagne Bubbler) who is a UK Urban performer and anti-knife crime campaigner who has worked with Stormzy, Kano, and Ms Dynamite and Boysayso, a jazz/rap star who describes his latest track release as: ‘A mix of tribal beats, UK rap and Jazz fusion sounds.’

Take The Reins (TTR), a sports-based not-for-profit organisation working primarily through and in the racing industry to support and deliver positive outcomes for young people and communities, is helping to stage the Stephen Lawrence Day Youth Unity Awards with partner not-for-profit organisations, Kickoff@3 and Proud and Gifted.

“This is all about recognising the talent of young people and highlighting how many opportunities the sport of horseracing has for young people from all communities,” said Deborah Hay, TTR’s CEO.

Michael Wallace, a serving Met Police officer and co-founder of Kickoff@3 which empowers young people through sport, music and art, added: “We held an online Youth Unity event in April to mark Stephen Lawrence Day, and this is the perfect event to recognise the talent that was involved in that day. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring this talent to Lingfield Park racecourse and show a different crowd what our young people are capable of.”

Throughout the pandemic TTR has worked extensively with youth groups and diverse communities to maintain its network and reach for future projects. Partners such as Kickoff@3 and Proud and Gifted, which celebrates young people’s talents, enable it to connect with communities traditionally untouched by the racing industry.

“Racing has already pledged an industry-wide commitment to Diversity & Inclusion to make sure the sport is open to all and this is part of that journey,” added Deborah. “I really hope the racing audience at Lingfield on 31st October, support this.”

Take the Reins (TTR) was established in 2014 to engage economically-deprived communities with the racing industry.

TTR aims to support young people’s access to the industry and showcase what it has to offer in building young people’s skills and knowledge and presenting the sport as an avenue for employment. TTR is providing enriching activities, vocational training, mentoring and support to all young people, including those in some of the UK’s most deprived communities.

Since the start of the 2017 – 2019 pilot, which was supported by the Racing Foundation, over 1,000 young people received informal educational support to gain a broader insight into the industry, through schools and community groups within the target areas. The delivery partners worked with specialist youth and community development workers to challenge perceptions and build greater linkages with the industry.

An Impact Study, carried out by Professor Andrew Parker hailed the project a huge success due to a multi-stakeholder approach on its steering committee from across the racing industry.

For more information please contact Deborah Hay via email: takethereins.racing@outlook.com Twitter: @_TakeTheReins