Rid­ing school marks 40th birth­day

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TALIA CARLISLE

Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled last month cel­e­brated its 40-year an­niver­sary with an af­ter­noon tea at its Kenepuru premises.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vides an equine-based pro­gramme called Ea­gala that of­fers coun­selling and men­tal health ser­vices to res­i­dents.

It also of­fers an un­mounted pro­gramme for up to 50 rid­ers per week.

Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled was not al­ways lo­cated in the Kenepuru Hos­pi­tal Grounds, as it is to­day, pres­i­dent Donna Kennedy said.

‘‘It was founded 40 years ago at Fern­dale in Waikanae un­der the coach­ing of Mar­garet Har­ris,’’ she said. ‘‘We moved to our cur­rent site in 1985 and it was de­vel­oped with as­sis­tance from the lo­cal Li­ons clubs.’’

The group had de­vel­oped its pro­file over the years by work­ing with lo­cal schools, Work­bridge, Aro­hata Women’s Prison, and other like- minded com­mu­nity groups and in­di­vid­u­als, Ms Kennedy said.

‘‘Our pro­grammes are sup­ported by the com­mit­tee, coach­ing team, op­er­a­tional man­ager, ad­min­is­tra­tor, our cur­rent sta­ble of steeds and nearly 60 other ded­i­cated vol­un­teers,’’ she said.

‘‘ They pro­vide over 2000 ses­sions per an­num, chal­leng­ing our rid­ers to achieve great things.’’

About 100 peo­ple at­tended the an­niver­sary on Oc­to­ber 13, in­clud­ing coaches, vol­un­teers, and three of the four orig­i­nal founders of Wellington Rid­ing for Dis­abled, Ms Kennedy said.

‘‘We think it’s quite a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone. [It’s] to cel­e­brate those who have gone be­fore us, built it into what it is, and to cel­e­brate who we are and what we do.’’

Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled have achieved some sig­nif­i­cant suc­cesses over the years.

Co- founder Diana Standen re­ceived a Queen’s Ser­vice Medal and Jackie Kidd and Cather­ine McMa­hon have rep­re­sented New Zealand at the Spe­cial Olympics.

Jan Nixon was nom­i­nated for Welling­to­nian of the year and Sarah Piper won stu­dent vol­un­teer coach of the year and a schol­ar­ship to Out­ward Bound.

Laura Rut­ten was named fi­nal­ist in the Com­mu­nity Young Lead­ers awards.

Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled horse Bilbo won horse of the year in 2009.

Mrs Kennedy was named New Zealand Rid­ing for the Dis­abled coach of the year in 2012.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion won the Wellington Air­port re­gional com­mu­nity sport awards in 2012 for the Porirua re­gion and was a fi­nal­ist in the West­pac Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence awards that year.

Dream team: Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled found­ing mem­bers and coaches, from left, Jane Cre­goe, Judy Haw, Jenny Roy, Diana Standen, Janet Ritchie, Judy Whit­taker and Mar­garet Har­ris.

Cel­e­bra­tory: Wellington Rid­ing for the Dis­abled’s 40th birth­day cake.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.