By Suzanne Pender
THE enormous benefits of horse riding have been enjoyed weekly by St Laserian’s NS for more than three decades, thanks to the generosity of a wonderful team of volunteers.
Last week, the school held a coffee morning to offer huge thanks to all who support the school’s RDAI (Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland) group, which continues to go from strength to strength.
St Laserian’s RDAI was formed over 30 years ago with Mary Couchman of Johnstown House, one of the founding members of the group of volunteers who give their time each week.
St Laserian’s RDAI is one of many RDAI groups across Ireland, offering ongoing training of coaches and volunteers and an award scheme for its riders. This charity is entirely run on a voluntary basis and is constantly developing.
Each Tuesday during school term, students from St Laserian’s travel to Carrigbeg Riding School to enjoy an hour in the company of Susan Patterson’s wonderful ponies. The benefits of horse riding have been well studied and documented, and for the volunteers of St Laserian’s RDAI that’s easy to quantify by spending time with the group.
The riders are given this opportunity free of charge, while the group is supported by RDA Ireland, Horse Sport Ireland and local businesses as well as funds raised by the group.
St Laserian’s RDAI currently has 11 volunteers and would welcome more, because without volunteers it cannot offer this opportunity. Members of the group are also extremely grateful to Susan Patterson, Carrigbeg Riding School, who kindly facilitates them every week.
If you would like to become part of their team or are interested in further information, check out rdaireland.org.