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HEALTH COLUMN: Calling all riders
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HEALTH COLUMN: Calling all riders
on 27 July 2018
Leo Powell hears a call from Dr Adrian McGoldrick and Lewis King for participants in a vital survey

A STUDY is currently being conducted, investigating the challenges jockeys face during their careers. The aim of the study is to improve the understanding about where support structures and networks should be put in place. The research has the potential to improve the wellbeing and mental health of jockeys, as well as improving their performance.

In a previous study conducted by Waterford Institute of Technology and the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board (IHRB), it was found that more than one in two jockeys met the criteria for a variety of mental health conditions. This is considerably higher than other sports including soccer and rugby. There is a need to understand why this is the case.

Lewis King, a PhD researcher exploring the mental health of jockeys at Waterford Institute of Technology who is leading the study, needs jockeys to take part now. This will take the form of an individual and completely confidential interview, discussing the challenges experienced by the rider during their racing career.

Lewis King explained to The Irish Field the rationale for the study. “We’ve decided that interviewing eight to 10 jockeys is necessary to help us understand what they perceive to be the challenging components of their careers and which may impact mental health and wellbeing. I’m conscious that Galway is around the corner but anyone interested in taking part should contact me immediately.”

The work being carried out carries the full support of Dr Adrian McGoldrick. “This is a most valuable piece of research and I would encourage as many jockeys as possible to volunteer. Complete confidentiality is assured, and jockeys who give of their time can do so in the full knowledge that the results will be used to improve conditions for our current band of riders, as well as future generations.”

If you are interested in taking part in a 30-60 minute interview at a time and place of convenience for you, you are asked to contact Lewis King on 00447584574266 or by email to lewis.king@postgrad.wit.ie.

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