Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW) Illawarra Centre is a not for profit organisation managed and run entirely by volunteers and has been in operation since November 1981, delivering over 30 years of experience. The Centre provides adults and children with disabilities from the community, the chance to learn the sport of horse riding which has numerous therapeutic benefits, in a safe controlled environment. The Coaches that manage the Centre have all completed two years of training in safety, horse management and teaching horse riding skills, before being accredited by Riding for the Disabled Association NSW. Coaches must regularly attend coaching clinics and workshops to keep their accreditation and the Centre has to go through re-accreditation every couple of years. The Centre services an area from the Sutherland Shire to Berry and west to Wilton and operates from March through to November during school term time.
RDANSW is a Registered Training Organisation.
What RDA Achieves and Benefits
Horse riding is a unique form of exercise and rehabilitation. The complex movement of the horse helps to improve coordination, balance, muscular development and fitness. Horse riding and horse related activities assist greatly and often dramatically in the development and restoration of personal confidence, self esteem, communication skills, increased learning and trust. For people with challenging behaviour horses offer a powerful medium for restoring a sense of personal control, which significantly improves their behaviour towards family, teachers and friends.
It can be difficult for some families to socialise and form good friendships with families of children that do not have disabilities, as their child’s needs may be quite demanding. Parents and siblings that attend the Centre develop bonds and friendships with the other families. This has a great impact on improving their lives and lessening the stress on the families.
As the Centre is non-government funded it therefore relies heavily on the generosity of individuals, community groups and local businesses to be able to continue to offer its valuable service.