The Injured Jockey Fund’s (IJF) third rehabilitation and fitness centre was officially opened in Newmarket on Friday (12 October) by Sir AP McCoy.
Peter O’Sullevan House joins Oaksey House, in Lambourn, and Jack Berry House, in Malton, as the charity’s third base.
The £6m development is adjacent to the British Racing School in Newmarket and was designed by Townscape Architects.
“It’s unbelievable that with the opening of Peter O’Sullevan House, we now have three rehabilitation and fitness centres around the country that help and support jockeys both during and after their careers,” said AP McCoy.
“I can’t tell you how lucky racing is to have this and how proud I am to be here today. If facilities like these had existed when I started riding, I might still be going today…!”
It is named after the late legendary commentator and took 13 months to complete.
IJF chairman Brough Scott added: “It is entirely fitting that this remarkable centre is named after Peter O’Sullevan, one of racing’s greatest supporters and friends.
“He would have been extremely proud of what we, in racing and at the IJF, have achieved in completing our third centre. We can now focus on our twin aims of helping those who have been injured or incapacitated long term and helping our jockeys be physically and mentally prepared for the risks they face.”
The state-of-the-art facility boasts physio treatment rooms, gym and a hydrotherapy pool that features an underwater treadmill, massage hoses and performance monitoring systems. It can also accommodate patients with spinal injuries.
As well as physical help, the centre’s experts can offer nutritional advice, sports psychology and general pastoral care.
Staff include centre manager Jamie Shaw, lead physio Ross Hollinworth, physio Becky Webber, sports rehabilitator Emma Hunter, plus strength and conditioning coaches James Adams and Glen Reed.
It is estimated the facility will cost around £350,000 a year to run.
“There are so many people to thank for making this happen and we are exceptionally grateful to our many supporters who have made it possible,” said IJF chief executive Lisa Hancock.
“We have a fantastic team in place and amazing facilities and are really looking forward to engaging with jockeys, both currently licensed and retired, and the wider racing population of Newmarket.
“As a charity we are extremely proud to be able to offer this level of service and expertise to our sportsmen and women.”
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The new Injured Jockeys Fund centre is set to open at the British Racing School in Newmarket in 2018
The jockeys battled through gruellingly-long days, sore knees and the occasional sat-nav error to reach all 26 Irish racecourses, raising
To life-size horse sculptures, created by artist Tom Hill from a combined total of around 1,600 horseshoes, are in the grounds. These were worn by racehorses and donated from the town’s racing farriers, trainers and owners.
Members of the public who donated more than £100 were allocated a horseshoe in recognition of their support.
Also key to the centre’s funding were the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, The Thompson Family Charitable Trust, The Racing Foundation, The Alborada Trust, The Childwick Trust, The EBM Charitable Trust, The Paul Bush Foundation Trust, The Bernard Sunley Foundation, Shirley Gedge and Godolphin Management Company Limited.
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