Aintree Racecourse and Women in Racing are delighted to announce Denise Lewis OBE will join the 2019 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit.
Denise is one of Great Britain’s most well-known sports stars having won the Heptathlon Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Following her athletics career, she has gone on to be a successful Presenter and Broadcaster, covering sport and entertainment. In November 2016, Denise joined other exceptional figures in politics, business, sport and science to share her insights into being black and British in the BBC Two Series, ‘Black is the New Black’.
Denise joins the panel alongside Tracey Neville MBE who is head coach of the England Netball team. They have enjoyed a period of unrivalled success, including Gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast a year ago, as well as the BBC’s Sports Personality Team and Moment of the Year at the end of 2018.
Denise Lewis OBE, said: “I am thrilled to have the chance to join the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit. Women’s sport is developing in leaps and bounds and I look forward to being able to share my experience and learnings over the years as a professional athlete and performer. It is really exciting to be part of such a special sporting occasion and such an important date in the racing calendar.”
Furthermore, Aintree Racecourse and Women in Racing are delighted to announce the University of Liverpool have become partners of the 2019 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit. The University of Liverpool runs the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA (THIMBA) which is now recruiting for its fourth cohort/intake and has seen students produce exciting new research, including analysis of the performance of female jockeys.
The initial research project by Vanessa Cashmore revealed that the performance of female jockeys is equal to their male counterparts. Using detailed analysis techniques on data covering a 14-year period, the study suggests that once the quality of the horses they are riding is factored in, the performance of female jockeys is essentially no better or worse than male jockeys. Further analysis to look at this subject in more detail, including identifying possible measures to address the imbalance in riding opportunities for females, has been supported by the award of a bursary by Women in Racing.
Neil Coster, Director of Studies at the University of Liverpool, said: “We are really excited to partner with the Grand Women’s Summit and have the opportunity to be part of this special event in Liverpool. Our MBA offers students a unique chance to understand the business dynamics of horseracing and we are delighted that a number projects studied as part of the MBA are influencing industry decision-making.”
On Friday 5th April, Denise and Tracey will join Telegraph Columnist and bestselling author Bryony Gordon who will lead a panel of sports stars and experts on a discussion of mental wellbeing in sport.
Sport and mental health
Under the title ‘Sport and mental wellbeing: A Powerful Relationship’ the discussion will be shaped around the following key themes:
- The challenges professional sport presents to mental health;
- How professional athletes can look after their mental health – and any learnings for the wider population;
- The benefits of sport for mental wellbeing
- The role of coaches, organisations and support mechanisms in promoting good mental health;
- Discussion and sharing of best practice across different sports.
Telegraph Columnist and bestselling author Bryony Gordon, said: “I am really excited to be hosting the 2019 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit, as part of the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse. Mental health is a topic close to my heart and the event will provide a unique opportunity to discuss it with a special panel of sporting stars and experts. I look forward to meeting everyone and leading what will be an insightful and fascinating discussion.”
As with previous Aintree Grand Women’s Summits the audience will be encouraged to be part of the debate and discussion.
Details of other panel members will be announced in the coming months.
Details of the day
For the 2019 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit guests will be welcomed to The O’Sullivan facility at the racecourse from 8:30am with refreshments and pastries on offer before the discussion of sport and mental health commences at 9:00am.
Once the discussion has concluded guests will have the chance to go on a course walk of the famous Grand National fences. Guests will split into small groups, each of which will be led by a well-known racing figure offering real insight into what it is like to ride around the Grand National. Retired jockey and Ambassador Katie Walsh, Aintree’s historian Jane Clarke, trainer Lawney Hill and ex-jockey Carrie Ford will lead groups on the course walk.
Guests (ticket/package dependent) will then return to Paddock Lodge for an exclusive VIP champagne reception and a buffet lunch before enjoying the afternoon of sporting action.
John Baker, Aintree Racecourse’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted Denise will be joining Bryony and Tracey as part of the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit. The insights and expertise they will be able to share promise to make this a very special event and a unique way to be part of the Randox Health Grand National Festival. We’re also delighted to welcome on board the University of Liverpool as our new partners for the event and I would like to extend my thanks to the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA team. Tickets for the event are selling fast so we recommend people to book early.”
Deputy Chair of Women in Racing Tallulah Lewis, said: “We are really excited to welcome both Denise and Tracey to the panel, alongside Bryony, for the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit. They are both incredibly accomplished women and we know Women in Racing members will enjoy hearing their insights on sport and mental health. We encourage everyone to get their place booked!”