Members and guests saddled up for a great night at the purpose-built Riding for the Disabled (Ryde) facility at Marsfield on Monday 13 April. RDA is run by volunteers and funded by donations, and provides a unique service for children and adults with mental and/or physical disability.
As RDA (Ryde) President Barry Davis told us, “Our horses are physiotherapists. They get muscles moving and improve balance. The riding lessons we provide make enormous differences to the lives of the riders.” He told the story of how one young girl who wore callipers was able, after six weeks of riding lessons, to turn over in bed unaided.
The RDA team demonstrated a lesson with three riders, showing how the riders are taken over small jumps and how they play games to improve their coordination.
The centre has seven horses, each of which cost $1,700 a year to sponsor – this includes food, farrier, vet and other bills such as saddlery and rugs. Volunteers help with feeding and grooming the horses and working with the patients who ride them. Barry said that although the centre has several dozen volunteers more are always welcome.
No experience with horses is necessary for volunteers – jobs range from feeding the horses, cleaning up after them, grooming them and preparing them for the riders. In addition there are volunteers who work only with the riders and those who work in the beautiful native and vegetable gardens. It’s a little bit of the country in the heart of our Ryde – contact RDA and find out more here on the RDA website.
Volunteers don’t just work in the stables or arena, either – the superb food our guests enjoyed was prepared by the volunteers who were given a rousing round of applause.
We would like to thank Pat Crowe from Red Team and Sali Rexpy who very kindly sponsored the event for RDA.
We welcomed two new members at our event:
- Mary Maggio from Mary Maggio Hair and Beauty
- Ken Hew from Avvora Pty Ltd
On the night we acknowledged:
- Clr Craig Chung – City Of Ryde
- Stefan Sojka, Ryde Macquarie Park Chamber – Stefan spoke briefly and reminded everyone to come to Ryde Macquarie Park Chamber’s After 5 this Wednesday the 15th at Quest Apartments North Ryde
Level 1 members:
- David Rafferty – Achieve Australia
- Stephen Lowndes – Royal Rehab
Level 2 members:
- Richard Bradshaw – The Salvation Army Employment Plus
- Emily Slaytor – Hunt & Hunt
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Mary Maggio provided a $50 voucher as a lucky draw prize, which was won by David Rafferty of Achieve Australia
RDA provided several prizes:
- Mother’s Day jewellery pack won by Arthur Rimagmos of Artisan Promotional Products
- Bottle of wine won by Judy Thomson of BresicWhitney Hunters Hill
- Jewellery won by Winston Readford, Solicitor
- Pass to Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic centre for 5 people won by RBF’s Treasurer George Papallo
- Hair styling voucher won by Stephen Lowndes of Royal Rehab
See all photos from the night here on our Facebook album.