The Paddock at Sandown Park

07th November 2013

Gentlemen prefer moustaches: Movember comes to Sandown Park

Moustaches. There are a lot of them about at the moment. My name is Jonathan Sim and I am the Communities Manager at Movember UK.

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches around the world to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. Last year even the paddock at Sandown Park sported one!

This Saturday 9 November, we hope you will join us at Sandown Park for Gentleman’s Day. This will be the second time that Movember have teamed up with the Esher Racecourse. Racing is a bit of tradition in my family and as a live event it is one of my favourite sporting occasions, I absolutely love it.

So I was thrilled that when I approached Sandown Park last year, they were incredibly open to the idea of giving Gentleman’s Day a Movember flavour.  As a day out it had a cracking atmosphere and I like to think we added some new racegoers to the gate. So we are delighted to be doing it again this year.

Movember’s roots are in Australia and previously it has done similar initiatives with the the Melbourne Cup, although not quite as grand or involved.  MovemberUK’s links with racing started when Betfair who invited us to the 2011 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park and gave us a fence to brand.

This got me thinking about how we could start to create a legacy event that becomes a fixture in the Movember calendar. In many ways Sandown Park has become a bit of a trail blazer. We have replicated it at Leopardstown and this year we will be involved in the Hennessy Gold Cup too.

Racing has always been incredibly supportive of us and I was thrilled that the CEO of Movember was there last year to see the fruits of Sandown’s and our hard work. It is also a chance for us to give something back to our highest fundraisers too, a day at the races to say thanks to them and Shepherd Neame who are our partners in crime in terms of staging the day.

If you are coming on Saturday there will be lots to see, including the second Annual Mo Bro Derby and our Gillette barbers will be on course to tame unruly facial fair. If you haven’t registered for Movember, you can do so on the day.

The staff at Sandown Park have been incredibly supportive and helpful and this year even allowed the street artist, Mr Shiz to get to work on a spare bit of wall. If you are coming on Saturday do make sure you stop by and see the mural he created, it is so much more impressive in real life.

I’d like to extend particular thanks to Carey Buckler,  Toni Harris, Kimberly Green and Alex Jarvis who have worked so hard in fulfilling the whims of a slightly twisted charity worker over the last couple of years!

We want Movember to be a celebratory affair and I cannot think of a better way than a day at the races. If you are a Mo Bro or Mo Sista, come and join us on Saturday.

If you can’t make it why not join Sandown’s Race Growers Team?