The 20-time Champion Jockey Sir Anthony McCoy OBE (known as AP) has agreed to become an ambassador for WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children which this year has partnered with the Jockey Club for The Festival supporting WellChild and the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup.
AP is one of the biggest names in racing having won almost every major race during his glittering career, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was Champion Jockey for 20 consecutive years and voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year among his many accolades.
He has already supported the charity’s work over the years having attended several WellChild fundraising golf days hosted by WellChild Ambassador, ITV Racing’s Ed Chamberlin. He joins Ed as an ambassador for the charity, championing its work for seriously ill children and their families across the UK.
WellChild is in partnership with The Jockey Club this year, which will see jump racing’s flagship event, The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, and the sport’s most prestigious race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, support Cheltenham-based WellChild.
One of AP’s first engagements for the charity will be to judge the winners of a Festival-themed children’s drawing competition, which will see artwork from youngsters across the country on show at Cheltenham Racecourse and online in celebration of the Festival’s partnership with WellChild this year.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We are thrilled that Sir AP McCoy has agreed to expand his already great support for WellChild by becoming an ambassador for the charity, and what better time to do it than at a time when we are partners for the Jockey Club in one of the greatest events in racing, The Festival and the Cheltenham Gold Cup? We thank AP for his help raising the profile of the charity’s work among the racing community alongside Ed Chamberlin and our other fantastic supporters from the world of racing.”
AP McCoy said: “I’ve seen the good work the charity has undertaken over the past few years and I’m looking forward to being more involved. It’s been a difficult year for the charity, the children and the families it supports so I’m hoping to do what I can to support them with their important work.”
Millions of people in the UK will watch The Festival supporting WellChild between Tuesday 16th and Friday 19th March, broadcast on ITV’s main channel and via its digital platforms. Based on Government restrictions for professional sport, currently the event’s 28 races would be staged over four days without any spectators present at the racecourse.
Sir Anthony McCoy OBE is the greatest jump jockey of all time and one of the world’s highest profile sporting personalities. The legend of racing is now a TV pundit, highly motivating, inspirational public speaker and global sporting and business Ambassador.
He dominated his sport for over two decades, recently ending a truly phenomenal career as Champion Jockey for the 20th consecutive year. He recorded 4,357 wins, including the 2010 Grand National, the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George VI Chase. AP remained at the top of his sport for 1040 weeks – longer than any other sporting talent.
WellChild provides essential and practical support to ensure that the increasing number of seriously ill children and young people in the UK have the best chance to thrive - properly supported at home with their families.
The charity, which has The Duke of Sussex as its Patron, provides a national network of children’s nurses, who work with families to ensure that children with complex care needs can leave hospital and return home and, through its Helping Hands scheme, WellChild enlists the support of volunteers to tackle practical projects in the homes of children with serious health needs. Through its family training and support services, the charity ensures parents and carers are properly supported and empowered to care for their children safely at home.
During COVID-19, WellChild set up a crisis response service to source and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to shielding families so that they could let external carers back into their home. The charity has now distributed more than 270,000 items of PPE to vulnerable families across the country since the crisis began.