When academia meets horse racing: Opportunity for students to learn about the industry

By James Jose

Published: Tue 11 Dec 2018, 7:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 11 Dec 2018, 9:45 PM

The Jebel Ali Racecourse will be holding their fourth race meeting, titled 'Bur Dubai,' on Friday with 10 of the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds in the fray for the main feature, but this meeting will be one with a difference.
As usual, it is a top quality field of horses, handlers and connections spread across the seven-race card but this presents a fine opportunity for university students to get up close and personal with the horse racing industry in the UAE.
Students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), The British University in Dubai, Zayed University and Abu Dhabi University will get that rare chance to learn about the workings of the industry and perhaps see a career in horse racing.
This has been ongoing tradition over the past couple of years thanks to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, and it again should be quite the learning experience for these students who are plotting their future.
"We have always spoken about how academia and sport could work together. One of they key functions of the ERA is to educate people about horse racing and build awareness about the sport. And it works well for racing," Yasir Mabrouk, Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) Master of Apprentices and Clerk of Scales, told the Khaleej Times on Tuesday.
"Students will benefit from it. It is about how horse racing and academics can work together. I think it is a very good idea and we have seen it happen last year and the year before. And you could see them getting very excited in the paddock, being around horses, and asking questions to trainers and jockeys. It is a good initiative to bring education and sports together. This one race meeting is dedicated for all the universities in the UAE," he added.
Meanwhile, Charles A Diab, the Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs at AUS, said that this was a brilliant opportunity to widen the scope for the students.
"AUS is honoured to be represented along some of the UAE's other leading universities at this event. This is a great opportunity for AUS to be part of a long-standing community event," said Diab.
"Graduates of degrees, most of the time don't end up in the area that they study. It is our job to open their minds. It is our job at universities to make sure we expand their knowledge on everything that goes on in the world. And this industry here, the horse racing industry, is one of those areas that we want to expose our students to. At the American University of Sharjah, we have four colleges. We have arts and science, we have business administration, engineering and every one of those colleges have something to do with horse racing. Horse racing will teach kids about the biology, those who are in veterinary medicine and those are wanting to study and work in those areas, could find jobs in this industry. Math and statistics, how much analysing there is, business administration, the marketing, the communications, all of those are related to the industry. And engineering, the chemical engineers, the medicines that are created for the animals and the industry itself and the technology of the equipments," he added.

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