The Class of 2021 graduated the Godolphin Flying Start programme on Friday, July 2nd via Zoom Webinar. While there may be no substitute for human interaction, the remote setting made for a truly international affair and allowed involvement from those who would not ordinarily have been able to travel to Ireland for the event.
Trainees were joined online by over 100 family, friends, and mentors from across the globe. Executive Director of Godolphin Flying Start, Clodagh Kavanagh, opened proceedings from Kildangan Stud in Ireland and said of the two-year Thoroughbred Industry Leadership and Management Programme;
“In August 2019, the 12 scholarship recipients for that year’s programme arrived at Kildangan full of excitement, energy and anticipation. The group was full with raw talent, emerging personalities and aspirational career aims.” Kavanagh continued; “A Graduation marks of the completion of an academic programme or experience and of reaching a standard of excellence. But it’s not the end, more so a new beginning and the marking of a move to a new chapter or opportunity. There are few life experiences as all-encompassing, as varied and as sustained as the two years of Godolphin Flying Start. As very many graduates have said, it is truly life changing. I encourage the class that are graduating today to be active participants in alumni events and to contribute to the thoroughbred industry above and beyond their own careers.” Godolphin Flying Start is accredited by the University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School as a Graduate Certificate in Management. Professor Raomal Perera, representing UCD, also made an address from his Dublin base.
Joe Osborne, Managing Director of Godolphin Ireland and Trustee of Godolphin Flying Start, was highly complimentary of the Class of 2021 and added;
“On behalf of the global Godolphin team I congratulate this graduating class and wish them success and encouragement for their futures in the thoroughbred industry. Godolphin Flying Start will now have 201 graduates of the programme, a large milestone.”Osborne continued with his always insightful message to the graduating class; “A financial advisor can’t see the future but can certainly predict it through informed decision making. It’s a delicate exercise, balancing an appetite for risk with a desire for security. The advice to a twenty-something-year-old is both judgment and opinion: if you plan on having a life well lived, think of outcomes not incomes.”
It was the role of 2005 graduate and Godolphin Flying Start Trustee, Lisa-Jane Graffard, to virtually present the twelve trainees with their Godolphin Flying Start Diplomas and she congratulated them on their achievements given the challenging circumstances of the pandemic.
The 2021 graduates comprised of four men and eight women from USA, UK, Ireland, France, Argentina, Japan and Australia, they are: Lowri Allen (UK), Joseph Bradley (Ireland), Julie Witt (USA), Niamh O’Brien (Ireland), Rachel Wade (USA), Arvin Chadee (UK), Victoria Canessa (Argentina), Marie Rohaut (France), Toshihiro Onikubo (Japan), Emma Coleman (Ireland), Oswald Wedmore (UK) and Caitlin Smith (Australia).
The final two diplomas were presented to Lowri Allen and Emma Coleman, who achieved the joint highest grades among the 2021 graduating group, both attaining Distinction awards.
UK trainee Arvin Chadee spoke on behalf of the class, reflecting on the experience of the two years with his 11 fellow classmates.
“We have had the most unorthodox experience in the 18-year history of the program, yet it is one that we would not exchange. At a time when people’s lives were sent into turmoil through lockdowns, social distancing, and furlough, I was one of 12 fortunate individuals who still managed to travel, gain incredible practical and theoretical experience, and develop personally and professionally. This was due to the resilience of the Thoroughbred industry, the fortitude of the Godolphin Flying Start management team, and the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.”