Racing and Wagering WA launches support service as part of R U OK? Day

Simon Miller, Paul Papalia and Chloe Azzopardi. Picture: Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne
Simon Miller, Paul Papalia and Chloe Azzopardi. Picture: Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

RACING and Wagering WA (RWWA) has launched a confidential support service for licenced trainers, harness drivers, stable hands, stable forepersons, track work riders, greyhound attendants, licenced farriers and riders agents as part of R U OK? Day.

The initiative includes a phone support service 24 hours a day, seven days a week (via 1300 307 912), and up to six free face-to-face counselling sessions with trained professionals.

RWWA chief executive Richard Burt said people were the organisation’s greatest assets and the emotional, mental and general psychological wellbeing of participants was vital to the success of the racing industry.

“For the past eight years, a Jockey Assistance Program has been in place for WA jockeys and apprentice jockeys called Jockey Assist, which will continue to operate as it has done since 2010,” Mr Burt said.

“The program is very well used by WA jockeys and apprentice jockeys, paving the way for an extension of the program in the form of Racing Assist, which is now offered to the broader racing industry.”

Racing and Gaming minister Paul Papalia said stakes were high and the pressure constant in the competitive racing industry but there was also a high level of care and responsibility required to be provided for racing animals and industry participants.

“Currently, there are over 4000 licenced participants across all three codes of racing in Western Australia who may be under pressure at different stages of their respective careers,” Mr Papalia said.

“Racing Assist is a terrific avenue for people to utilise to help alleviate that pressure and talk through their concerns.”