Q&A with Kevin Parsons (NASS)

National Association of Stable Staff or NASS for short, have recently won a bid from Union Learn Funding which will provide for a Union Learn Project Manager, who will based in Newmarket at the New Astley Club. They have recently appointed Kevin Parsons who started with NASS on the 8 November; Kevin has provided a short biography which outlines his history in racing and his plans for the Newmarket Learning and Community Project.

So having met with Union Learn who are funding the project last week, NASS are hoping to roll out courses with the help of local college’s and tutors starting in The New Astley Club, Newmarket in January. The main objective is to increase the workforce’s current skills and qualifications and to give them an opportunity to do so in areas they choose.

Then hopefully with success NASS will be able to progress nationally working on the same ideas in Lambourn, Epsom, Middleham, Malton, South West and The Midlands. This will give everyone involved in Racing all around the country a chance to enrol on the courses and help make this a success for all participants.

As with the sport side of things Kevin is looking to organise a National Football Cup competition between racing regions (as used to be in place years ago).  As well look to organise a National Go Karting competition starting off in each region then to a grand final somewhere central to everyone.  Another idea is to do something similar with paintballing.

Another task for Kevin is to get the Cricket day that used to be hosted once a year in Arundel going again as this is another sport event that has not been continued for the last few years and was always a fun day for those involved.

All in all the whole idea of the project is to re-engage stable staff with a community feel and to give them a chance in extra learning and taking part in events. At the same time adding members to our union that works and provides for them.

[frame_center src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/kevo.png” href=”#”]Kevin Parsons with the Newmarket Ladies Team.[/frame_center]

Kevin Parsons – Biography

Kevin has been involved part time in racing since catching the bug at 14 and then started working full time in racing as when he left school aged 16.

Kevin has spent the last 18 years enjoying working with horses and held positions ranging from apprentice; conditional jockey; work rider; stable lad, head lad and travelling head lad. He has been lucky enough to travel all around the world including Europe and Dubai and worked with many good horses. In his time in racing he has worked for some excellent trainers like; Roger Charlton, David Loder, John Gosden, Chris Wall and Roger Varian.

[frame_right src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/kev.png” href=”#”]Kevin Parsons[/frame_right]

During his 18 year career in racing, Kevin has always been involved with organising football games including Roger Charlton’s vs.  Peter Chapple-Hyam’s , Newmarket vs. Lambourn, North vs. South and most recently the NASS national team.

He began at the British Racing School (course 90)1996 and has completed up to his NVQ Level 3 in Horse and Stable Management as well as FA Level 2 Coaching Badges and FA youth module 1. So he is now looking to combine all his experience and skills working with NASS in giving the people in racing something back.

Kevin will be looking to organise more sporting events, as well as putting on local course’s to offer IT courses along with core subjects such as maths,  English and any other course’s that may be of interest to people within the local community. They plan to hold a survey using a page on the NASS website which will be dedicated to sports events, to find out more about ‘what the people want’ as well as talking and interacting with racing staff to find out their interests and then looking to build events and courses around those.

Q&A with Kevin Parsons

Having filled various positions within racing over the last 18 years, what made you finally make the decision to take up a more active role within the racing community and go from being a general stable employee to your current role for NASS?

[quote]KP: Well firstly it was offered to me by NASS Chief Executive George McGrath whilst the bid for the funding was in motion. After we sat down and had a chat about what the job was to entail and what they were looking for, I went away to think about it and if I was the right man for the job. Firstly knowing it was going to be a massive change in career as all I have known since leaving school was early starts and horses, and having to be dedicated to a job that can be hard at times especially in the winter. But this is a job I have to have a good crack at for myself, the stable staff and racing as a whole, even though I will miss the day to day banter and riding out in the summer I feel if I can make a difference in this new role it will all be worthwhile.[/quote]

So NASS stands for National Association of Stable Staff, tell us more about what they do etc?

[quote]KP: NASS is the union for stable staff and was formed in the early seventies as the SLA (Stable Lads Association) unfortunately though it went through a dismal period in the early 2000’s and a regeneration took place, and this newly named organisation was formed in 2007 and renamed by a member to its current name. With its newly elected Chief Executive George McGrath who was voted in and started his role in August this year the whole Union is looking to expand, with 18,000 people in racing we need to have more than the current third of staff signed up. NASS meets with the National Trainers Federation every year to discuss wage and expense rises as well as improvement in working conditions. They also legally represent any member who needs representation in a dismissal case or with any grievances at work. So to be a member is free and only beneficial and we need to get more people on board.[/quote]

As Project Manager for NASS what does your job entail on a day to day basis?

[quote]KP: At the minute it’s lots of organising and planning, interacting with tutors, organising to work with the British Racing School and Northern Racing College and trying to establish links. As well this I’m helping to design and set up the IT Suite in the New Astley Club. Its all very new to me though so learning as I go, whilst hoping to get numbers on the first courses to get the ball rolling.[/quote]

What do you think people within the racing community can achieve by taking part in courses provided by NASS?

[quote]KP: They can achieve qualifications which will enable them to progress from racing into other careers (if they so choose), not that we want to lose anyone from the industry but a more skilled work staff is better for our industry overall. Knowing they can learn and get qualifications to do other things will be good for the racing staff, and it will keep people more interested in their jobs whilst learning new things in their spare time.[/quote]

What are you most excited about introducing to the racing community over the coming months?

[quote]KP: Mainly the chance to add to their qualifications with new ones and even qualifications they never thought about trying. We are looking to put on courses to cover a wide range of activities, be it from IT Skills to Cooking or Gardening to Basket Weaving, basically whatever the racing staff want we will look to provide. Being sporty myself the National Go Karting Championship we are planning for next year will be great fun for members, and will help boost staff morale and be a great way to bring the community closer together![/quote]

If somebody would like to find out more information on the courses provided by NASS, where would be their best place to go?

[quote]KP: The NASS website which is currently being updated and modernised but the old website still remains available at www.naoss.co.uk this will eventually have a section for all this info on as well as the sporting events coming up and being planned. Otherwise NASS has a page on Facebook or ringing the office on 01283 211522.[/quote]

Anything else you would like people to know about?

[quote]KP: Well mainly that joining NASS is completely free and they work for you the racing staff! All these events and courses we are planning are to get more people involved in activities out of work time and to give them something else to do, aim for and hopefully achieve! Each event and course will be for members and you can sign up on the day, so at the same time as providing these activities NASS will also be gaining the union members and helping us to grow and become much stronger and more influential  in the national industry.[/quote]


Doing nothing this weekend and local to Newmarket? Get yourself down to the match and show your support!

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