Other sports could learn from injured jockeys’ centre, says Princess Royal

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  • The knowledge gathered since the opening of Oaksey House nine years ago is “phenomenal”, the Princess Royal said, as she reopened the centre after a major refurbishment.

    The patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) joined the charity’s president AP McCoy, chairman Brough Scott and vice-president John Francombe at the IJF’s fitness and rehabilitation centre in Lambourn yesterday (20 February).

    The princess was shown Oaksey House’s new hydrotherapy pool, which is named after AP McCoy and boasts an underwater treadmill, massage hoses and performance monitoring technology.

    As part of the refurbishment the centre now has a gym three times the size of the previous facility.

    “Having just come back from the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and seeing the injuries some other sportspeople such as snowboarders suffer, your brains could be picked and the skills you have could be of such benefit to a range of other sports,” the princess said.

    “It seems extraordinary that Oaksey House opened only nine years ago. The knowledge achieved in that time has been phenomenal.”

    IJF chief executive Lisa Hancock said: “We are very committed to ensuring we provide state-of-the-art facilities in our centres and a hydropool is essential to modern rehabilitation.

    “Oaksey House can now provide all jockeys, riding and retired, and the local community, with a facility that can support every type of injury. This is very much part of our charitable vision and we will complete the loop with the build of Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket, set to open in autumn 2019, and for which we are now starting the fundraising campaign.”

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    A donation from former postmistress Doreen Rackham, who was known as the “angel of Lambourn”, who died in 2011, contributed to the cost of the project, as did a “sizeable” contribution from AP McCoy’s 2015 celebration dinner.

    “I am delighted to be here today and that the IJF is able to now provide these amazing facilities for jockeys, both injured and riding,” AP said. “If I’d had this 20 years ago, I’d probably still be going now!”

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