Un­der starter’s or­ders for ca­reer op­por­tu­nity

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WITH­OUT jock­eys, there would not be rac­ing. It takes more than the rid­ers and their horses, how­ever, to make the in­dus­try run smoothly in South Aus­tralia.

From groundskeep­ers and stew­ards to sales and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als, a host of work­ers are needed to keep the South Aus­tralian Jockey Club op­er­at­ing.

The SAJC hosts 65 days of rac­ing a year at Al­lan Scott Park, Mor­phettville, but holds many other func­tions and ser­vices at out­side en­ter­tain­ment venues on non-race days.

The club needs 75 full-time staff to run day-to-day op­er­a­tions and em­ploys more than 400 ca­sual staff across the busi­ness on race days. Work­ers pas­sion­ate about horse rac­ing usu­ally strive to work for the SAJC but it also at­tracts staff ea­ger to be part of an ex­cit­ing in­dus­try.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Brenton Wilkin­son says there are many pieces to the puz­zle to en­sure that when race time comes, all is set in place for the event.

‘‘There’s a lot more to rac­ing than peo­ple un­der­stand,’’ he says.

‘‘From the club per­spec­tive, there’s ad­min­is­tra­tion staff, grounds staff in the prepa­ra­tion of the rac­ing sur­face, hos­pi­tal­ity and cater­ing staff and, on non­race days, there’s a heap of func­tions each year. ‘‘It’s a very di­verse busi­ness.’’ The South Aus­tralian Jockey Club is of­fer­ing two Ca­reerOne read­ers the chance to kick-start their ca­reers in the rac­ing in­dus­try by ap­ply­ing for a work- ex­pe­ri­ence place­ment. They will spend one week work­ing in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the club at Al­lan Scott Park, Mor­phettville. The work­ers will ex­pe­ri­ence a day in the life of a jockey, learn­ing how to ride a horse as well as un­der­take other off track du­ties of a jockey, such as pub­lic speak­ing.

They can learn from other rac­ere­lated oc­cu­pa­tions, such as race callers and stew­ards, and work with be­hind-the-scenes staff, from hos­pi­tal­ity, mar­ket­ing and sales to ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The two work ex­pe­ri­ence staff can use the place­ment to gain more in­for­ma­tion on the qualifications re­quired to work in their de­sired roles, whether it be ter­tiary qualifications for pro­fes­sional po­si­tions or trade cer­tifi­cates for on-track jobs.

Jock­eys, such as Adrian Pat­ter­son, will be on hand to talk about their ca­reer paths from at­tend­ing the ap­pren­tice academy to pass­ing the post first on race day.

‘‘It’s an in­dus­try you get hooked on, it gets a part of your life,’’ Mr Wilkin­son says.

‘‘If you’re suc­cess­ful at get­ting a berth to come down, it’ll be a very good ex­pe­ri­ence.

He says staff do not have to have a love of rac­ing to work at the SAJC.

While sev­eral em­ploy­ees are ‘‘diehard rac­ing peo­ple’’, oth­ers are busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als who have learned to en­joy rac­ing, he says.

The jockey steers An­dron­ica home at Al­lan Scott Park, Mor­phettville.

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