Group to get new horse with grant

Morpeth Group of the RDA has been awarded a grant.
Morpeth Group of the RDA has been awarded a grant.

A group that provides sport for disabled people in south east Northumberland has been given a cash sum to buy new equipment.

The Morpeth Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association has been awarded £3,000 from Sport England, which will be used to purchase a horse which will open up opportunities for disabled people in the county to try riding activities for the first time.

The group’s chairman, Malcolm Haigh, said: “This fantastic grant from Sport England will allow us to extend our provision and accommodate more disabled riders.

“We are already very successful in providing riding opportunities for disabled people with over 100 disabled riders every week taking part in lessons.

“However, we have been aware for some time that many of those who approach us are too heavy for our existing ponies and so are unable to enjoy the therapeutic, social and competitive benefits that horse-riding provides.

“This Sport England grant will enable us to buy a larger horse and so respond to very real demand from disabled people in the area.

“It is wonderful news that Sport England has chosen to support us in this way.”

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s director of insight, added: “We know that many organisations and clubs delivering sport struggle to provide sporting opportunities for disabled people because of a lack of access to specialist equipment.

“We are delighted to award these vital funds to Morpeth Group RDA which will play a transformative role in opening up sport to many people who previously found it inaccessible.”

The award is part of Sport England’s ‘Get Equipped’ fund, designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

£1m of National Lottery funding is being distributed to groups across England.