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Alex’s Story – Physical Health

When it comes to Racing Welfare, Alex Cairns is a passionate supporter of both the services offered and raising funds for the charity.

“I like to spread the word about Racing Welfare, when someone is injured I always push them forward that way along with anyone struggling with mental health issues such as drink and drug problems,” he says.

Cairns’ words are backed up by action with the head person to James Fanshawe having run two London marathons to raise money for Racing Welfare and was the brains behind a bike ride to help with further fundraising this summer.

Cairns, who recently made it to the final three of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Leadership Award, competed in the London marathon in 2012 and 2015 and completed the gruelling 26-mile course in the UK’s capital city as a way to show his appreciation for a charity close to his heart. He says:

“I first had contact with Racing Welfare back in 2012 when I did my first London marathon for them. I wanted to do the London marathon for a charity that helps people in racing and one that I may need help from at some point. I actually ended up receiving support for physio treatment when I was training for both marathons. In 2015, when I was training, I had a leg injury and it was also affecting me at work as I have a very physical job.”

This physical health support provided by Racing Welfare meant Alex was able to continue pain free at work. A year later, as a result of riding out every day, back pain became a further issue at work for Alex and he was able to once again seek support to help to get him back to work:

“I’ve struggled in the past with my back at work, straining with riding out so I’ve had treatment a couple of times and it meant I was able to continue to ride out. It was a niggling pain in my back, wear and tear really, I was struggling to pick things up and every time I was in the saddle it was painful. Sometimes I even had to have a couple of days off with it. My back is good now, I’m on the ground now so I don’t really ride out so much.”

“There have been plenty of times when people have been injured at work and I’ve passed on the number for Racing Welfare. My daughter broke her leg badly when riding out at the yard and she came through Racing Welfare and did her physio through the charity. The welfare officers are great, they are always very efficient and very approachable.”

Inspired once again to get out there and raise funds for Racing Welfare, Alex put forward the idea of a sponsored bike ride:

“I’ll be doing the Great Racing Welfare Cycle, the wheels are in motion! I put the initial idea forward. On the back of all the support I’ve received and with COVID-19 I thought it would be a good idea for them, it’s outside and you’re usually a metre or two apart from people so I thought it would work well.”

The Great Racing Welfare Cycle will take place from August 17 and will start at Carlisle Racecourse finishing at Newton Abbott racecourse. Riders will cycle for 100 miles a day and will receive a rousing reception at the racecourse on completion.

If you are interested you can sign up here.

Physical health support is available to everyone who works in racing, please call 0800 6300 443 if you need support or you can find more about our occupational health service here.