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"Being There" during lockdown

December 21, 2021

Vicki Walker, Chaplain to women in Sydney & NSW Provincial racing, was as busy as ever throughout the state’s June to October Covid lockdown. 

Unable to attend racedays or visit stables, Vicki says “much of my time was spent just being there when people needed someone to talk to, even though I wasn’t with them in person”. Vicki's role has been supported by grants from the ATC Foundation.

She explains that she connected with many via social media channels by “monitoring posts and looking for anything that indicated something was not right. I would then send a private message to ask if they were OK”. 

Despite racing being one of the only industries to continue throughout the entire pandemic, participants still suffered from its impacts. Vicki remained in close contact with many working in racing whom she knows. One was a female jockey who had broken her back and was out of the saddle for nearly a year. “I was able to speak with her regularly about the struggles she was having, mentally and physically. It was great to recently send her a ‘welcome back to the winners circle’ message”. Vicki was pleased to have been part of her long journey back.