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Racing Starts – But It’s A Long Hard Road Yet

Wonderful that racing's back - but there is still a need

A seven year old young man who dreams of being a jockey one day, through to South Africa’s leading racing personalities, are just some of the donors to Kirra Kotzen’s Save Our Jocks Campaign.

The campaign launched by the young Business Communication postgraduate student on the Backabuddy platform aims to provide South African Jockeys with funds to relieve any financial strain caused by COVID-19.

A review of the donor list is a reflection of the generosity of a wide variety of racing folk, and we caught up with the energetic organiser just over a week after the launch.

An emotional Kirra told us that she had been overwhelmed by the level of need that existed amongst the jockeys.

She has been approached by riders in desperate need and said that she was concerned that, with racing commencing on Monday, many would believe that the need for help was no longer there.

“I was under no misconception that there was a need to raise funds but have been shocked beyond anything I could have imagined at the dire straits facing some jockeys. And I’m worried that with racing starting – which we are all thrilled about – that the awareness of the desperate plight may well take a backseat.”

Kirra explained that the top jockeys would be back in demand and earning and winning races, while the middle to lower table guys would struggle to lift themselves out of the financial hole that they have fallen in during the lockdown.

“Field sizes are limited and it’s going to be a tough long road back for many jockeys. I must stress that this plea is for those in serious need,” adds Kirra.

Coastal Jockeys Association Chairman MJ Byleveld explained their position.

The Avontuur-sponsored Sun Met winning rider thanked all donors.

Watch the short clip below:

If you’d like to help – even if it’s R50, it all goes towards relieving the plight.

Please click here to find out how to help

  • James Goodman interviews Kirra on Sunday at 15h00 in the Winning Ways Show

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