The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is aiming to strengthen racing’s safeguarding methods, with the publication of a new, overarching Safeguarding Policy, Regulations and Code of Conduct for the sport, .
The policy, which will come into effect from 1 January 2019 will work alongside the existing safeguarding methods and will cover areas such as abuse, inappropriate relationships, reporting safeguarding concerns and safer recruitment practices.
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the BHA, commented: “For this sport to have the bright future we are all working together to achieve, we must attract the interest and participation of people of all ages. It is vital that those people who we do attract to the sport have a positive and fulfilling experience and are protected from all forms of abuse and harm.
“As the governing body of racing, the BHA has a particular duty to protect young people and adults at risk from harm that may arise from their participation in racing.
“However, this duty is not confined to the BHA. It is shared by everyone in racing. We all have a role to play in promoting a positive culture and experience for everyone involved in our sport. We trust that the new safeguarding obligations will be positively received, demonstrating Racing’s commitment to the protection of its youngest and most vulnerable participants.”
Matt Mancini, Lead Safeguarding Manager for the BHA, also spoke positively of the new methods: “Several sports have been under close public, media and political scrutiny on safeguarding issues, following a number of scandals over the past few years. As a result, all sports governing bodies, including Racing, are ensuring their safeguarding practices and policies are in line with current best practice.
“We greatly appreciate that many trainers already provide excellent levels of care for all their staff. The introduction of the BHA’s Policy will ensure we remain in step with other sports, ensuring and demonstrating that we have high standards of protection in place for any young people or adults at risk employed within our industry.
“Through our Safeguarding Policy, the BHA has put in place practical measures, tailored to the requirements of Racing, that seek to minimise the risk of harm, and enable the BHA to respond as appropriate to concerns whenever and wherever they may arise. We call on anyone who has any such concerns to contact us.”
Grant Harris, Chief Executive of the British Racing School, added: “The BRS has the most stringent safeguarding policies in place while trainees attend the School. We work with the NTF and trainers – the employers – to ensure that our graduates are safeguarded in the workplace. We all have a duty of care.
“We all need to show the outside world that racing is an attractive vocation where the workforce is safe. The BHA’s Safeguarding Policy will reinforce these policies and messages that we are an industry that takes seriously its responsibilities toward the young and vulnerable working in racing.”