Saturday 3rd December – Today, Sir A P McCoy, The Chairman of Aintree Racecourse Rose Paterson and The Mayor of Sefton officially opened The Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub at Aintree Racecourse.
The Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub is an onsite facility that will be the main focal point of all of Aintree’s Community Programme’s activities and be an educational environment for all ages and abilities. Each room in the Hub has been specially named after a past Grand National winners including Earth Summit’s Education Room, Red Rum’s Lounge, Seabass’ Kitchen, Aldaniti’s Boardroom and Lottery’s Library.
The Hub has been named after racing legend, Sir Peter O’Sullevan CBE, who died in July 2015 at the age of 97 and was much more than a fabled racing commentator. On his retirement from commentating in 1997 he founded the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, which to date has raised well in excess of £4 million in support of various charitable enterprises. The Trust continues to thrive and their support for the Community Hub is the perfect way to perpetuate his name at Aintree – the home of the Grand National.
Sir A P McCoy, Trustee of The Peter O’Sullevan Trust said “I am delighted to official open the new Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub at Aintree today. It’s a fantastic facility to help inspire people of all ages and abilities through our sport and help tell the story of the greatest horserace in the world. Sir Peter O’Sullevan would have been very proud to have his legacy live on in this community hub.”
Since the launch in December 2014, Aintree’s Community Programme has gone from strength to strength and aims to inspire children and adults alike to be the best they can be through the power of horseracing and the Grand National. The programme has five core areas focusing on Health and Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Community Engagement, Disability and Riding in the Community.
The programme is continuously enhancing and developing long-lasting partnerships within the community including work with Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Everton in the Community, Liverpool John Moores University, The Walton Centre Charity, St Vincent’s School for the Blind, Barrie Wells Trust, Racing to School and Riding for the Disabled Association. An exciting new partnership with national learning disability charity Hft has allowed a 'Smarthouse’ to be built in a top floor room in the hub. The Smarthouse showcases a range of assistive technology that can support vulnerable adults to increase their independence and safety around the home.
In addition to this, Aintree is proud to have been the Beacon Racecourse for Racing Together, British Racing’s Community Engagement Programme, for the past two years and to have worked closely with Maricourt School in Maghull as part of this, whether it’s us inviting schools into Aintree to inspire them around the Grand National and its fabulous history or its dozens of Aintree staff going back to school and talking to hundreds of children about jobs at racecourses and the Grand National.
Aintree’s Chairman Rose Paterson, said: “We feel strongly that we are part of Liverpool. We’re proud of our long association with the city and we treasure it’s involvement in the Grand National. The new Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub is one way of saying this and I hope it will give pleasure and provide help to our local community for many years to come.”