On Friday, 19 March 2021, a group of apprentice jockeys from the South African Jockey Academy (SAJA) visited the Hollywoodbets Team Support office in Umhlanga for a special day away from the track.
We awarded bursaries to 16 of the students to cover their training and accommodation fees, enabling them to continue pursuing their dream of becoming top jockeys in the future. Hollywoodbets also made a donation towards replacing their broken tractor. This brought their total investment to more than R1.8 million.
Due to the countrywide lockdown, funding was crucial for most of SAJA’s apprentices. “Hollywoodbets has blessed the Academy by awarding us with 16 bursaries for our apprentices that will go towards our operational costs. Our apprentices have come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and their parents can’t afford to pay these fees; this is where Hollywoodbets stepped in to help the parents. If it wasn’t for this generous contribution, we would be closing our doors. So, to Hollywoodbets, thank you for everything you have done for us,” said Graham Bailey, Headmaster of SAJA.
Hollywoodbets and SAJA first began their relationship back in 2020 when we offered our support to seven apprentices through bursaries. Our Team admires the work done by SAJA and will continue to offer assistance to the future stars of the horse racing community.
Dermot O’Connell, Hollywoodbets Betting Operations Manager, explained how the relationship with SAJA has grown over the years. “After seeing the great work being done by the academy, we decided to increase our financial support. This handover is very important to Hollywoodbets because it is a reinvestment into an industry that is critically important to us. We are also investing in the future of young, potential champion jockeys and it is a very exciting project for us to be involved in,” he said.
Hollywoodbets Brand Ambassador and South African Jockey Champion, Anthony Delpech, was excited to also be a part of the event as an alumnus of SAJA. “I have done a lot of travelling and nothing compares to what we have here in South Africa. SAJA is one of the best academies in the world and this support from Hollywoodbets will give the apprentices an opportunity to be successful in the horse racing industry,” he said.