27th August 2020 - Page 60

JUNE 04 2020
Volunteers’ Week is
celebrated by RDA
Week is an annual
millions of people
make across the UK through
volunteering and runs from
June 1 to 7. The Riding for the
Disabled Association (RDA)
simply could not function
without the wonderful team
of volunteers, who give so
freely of their time to help
make such a difference to the
lives of disabled people and
their families.
Gillian has recently retired,
aged 93, and is greatly
missed, but Pam continues
to be active and the Group
have gone from strength to
strength having recently had
success with one of their
riders, who was Rider of the
Year 2019 and celebrating the
50th Anniversary of RDA with
a pleasure ride at Shane’s
We are looking forward to
returning to RDA sessions
and meeting up with all
the wonderful volunteers
Northern Ireland, as soon as
the current situation eases
sufciently to allow us to do
this safely. Meanwhile, I hope
everyone is safe and well and
Gillian Robb joined East
Antrim RDA Group in 2005
after her husband died and,
since then, has proved her
worth in many different roles
- Trustee, Leader, Sidewalker,
helper… in short, the perfect
volunteer. None of this would
be remarkable until you
realise that, having been
born in 1927, she is well into
her 92nd year.
Together with her sister-inlaw, Pam Harris (a youthful
83), they are the lifeblood
of East Antrim RDA and still
perform many duties - ranging
from setting up the arena, to
lifting droppings, providing
refreshments, doing street
collections, organising hats
and boots for the riders and
generally making themselves
AWARD: Gillian was presented with her 2018 award by Paul
Michael, Mayor of Antrim/ Newtownabbey at Mossley Mill.
thank you to all of them for
everything that they have
done and in many cases are
continuing to do to keep RDA
alive and ready for action in
these difcult times.
Julie Frazer, RDA
Regional Chairman
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR 2018: Gillian Robb was the
recipient of the Northern Ireland Volunteer of the Year Award in
2018, in her 92nd year! (FW23-506NN)
In 2018, I’m glad to say that
Gillian’s contribution was
recognised, as she was the
recipient of the Northern
Ireland Volunteer of the
Year Award. She is living
proof that age is no barrier
to volunteering with RDA
(all retired people reading
this please note!) and, if
asked, she would say that the
benets for her have been
equally signicant.
Gillian is one of those
Update for
AIRC members
WORK is continuing for the resumption
of Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC)
activities in June and this will take a tiered
approach over a period of time, in line with
the Irish Government’s Roadmap for the
Reopening of Ireland.
Instructor-led club training activities will
be permitted from June 8, provided the
Irish Government moves to Phase 2 and
allows travel up to 20 kilometres.
Regional training activities, under
instructor supervision, will resume from
July 20, when it is anticipated that the Irish
Government will move to Phase 4, when
travel over 20 kilometres will be permitted.
Competitions will follow later in August.
A document outlining the AIRC ‘Pathway
for the Resumption of Activities’ has now
been published and provides a framework,
in which AIRC must operate in order
to comply with the new measures that
must be introduced for the safe return of
equestrian sport.
This phased approach will allow the
AIRC time to assess how they can operate
under these new protocols to ensure they
create a safe environment for members,
volunteers and ofcials.
Activities will resume sooner if the
Government lifts the travel restrictions
ahead of its published plan.
Members are reminded that all activities
are suspended until June 8 and this
includes ‘online shows’, as members are
not covered by AIRC insurance policy for
this activity.
whom an encounter always
brightens your day, no matter
how difcult or depressing
one’s own problems may
seem. Her cheerful smile
and positive attitude are an
example to us all, I always
look forward to visiting East
Antrim RDA, the welcome
is always warm, no matter
how chilly the weather, and
Gillian’s enthusiasm for all
things connected with RDA
have undoubtedly inspired
the Group.
RIDER OF THE YEAR 2019: Oran, who rides with the East
Antrim Group, won the Rider of the Year award in 2019 and
is pictured with his Coach, Judith Watt and Leader, Jonathan
Stirling. (FW23-508NN)
About RDA
in Northern
RDA NI is a federation
of 30 registered charities
to people of all ages with
physical disabilities and/
or learning difculties
across Northern Ireland.
This is only possible
because of our band of
about 700 volunteers, who
provide services to about
1,000 participants each
year. More volunteers
from the age of 12 upwards
please see the website for
contact details: https://
riding for thedisabledni.
org/ or phone the Regional
Chairman Julie Frazer on
028 2588 0584 for more
Nominations open for NEF Sir Colin Spedding Award
O you know an exceptional individual or
organisation, as yet without accolade,
within the equine sector? Nominations
are now being invited for the National Equine
Forum (NEF) Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021
and the organising committee is keen to hear
if you have any shining stars on your radar.
The Sir Colin Spedding Award was
introduced in 2013 and has become one of
the most respected annual awards within UK
equestrianism. Any individual or organisation,
from any equestrian eld, is eligible, as long
as their outstanding qualities have not been
formally acknowledged elsewhere.
This year’s NEF was one of the most
successful in the event’s 28-year history. Held
in London two weeks prior to lockdown, it
welcomed more than 200 delegates, including
representation from most of the UK’s leading
equestrian organisations. In addition, the
event was livestreamed in 28 countries, with
more than 1,000 individual viewers and social
media engagement exceeded 20k on some
posts. To increase interaction, both at the
venue and remotely, audience participation
tool Slido was introduced, enabling users to
submit questions for live answers in postpresentation Q&A sessions.
Sir Colin Spedding was the founding
chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for
20 years until his death in 2012. He ensured
that representatives of all areas of the equine
sphere were made welcome to the Forum, and
that topics of general interest and concern
could be discussed openly and amicably.
Previous winners of the Sir Colin Spedding
Award include tireless Suffolk Punch
champion Nigel Oakley (2020 joint winner);
welfare-driven equestrian journalist Eleanor
Jones (2020 joint winner); equine sector
stalwart Gordon Wesley (2019); exceptional
PAST WINNERS: Winners of the Sir Colin Spedding Award from 2017 to 2020. (FW23-505NN)
PICTURES: courtesy of Craig Payne Photography
farrier Dr Simon Curtis (2018); re and rescue
pioneer Jim Green (2017); riding school
and equestrian education champion Sue
Martin of Trent Park Equestrian Centre in
London, (2016); Thoroughbred racing and
breeding advocate Paul Greeves, formerly of
Weatherbys (2015); equine infectious disease
expert Dr Andrew Waller on behalf of The
Animal Health Trust (AHT) Infectious Disease
Group (2014); and actor Martin Clunes, in
recognition of the collective work of the UK
Equine Welfare charities during the winter of
2012 (2013).
To submit a nomination, please read the
checklist on the website and write, in no more
than 100 words, why you believe your chosen
candidate (an individual or an organisation)
should be considered for the award. The NEF
Spedding Award Committee will produce
a shortlist of nominations, from which the
winner will be selected by the Organising
Multiple nominations for the same person
will not carry additional merit and the
decision will be nal. The winner will be
invited to attend the National Equine Forum,
where the Award will be formally presented.
nomination. Closing date midday on
September 7, 2020.
All the sessions from NEF 2020 can be
viewed on NEF’s YouTube channel: https://
www. youtube.com/ c/national equineforum.
The 29th National Equine Forum will take
place on Thursday, March 4, 2021.


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