On Saturday, April 21, RDA Coleraine welcomed representatives of the Wooden Spoon (the Rugby Charity) to their Riding Centre to present the pony, Jack, purchased with a donation of over £3,000 for the group.
Visitors to the centre included Wooden Spoon officers- former Ireland and British Lions captain (and Wooden Spoon Ulster’s President) Willie John McBride, who is also RDANI Vice President; Peter Wood (Wooden Spoon Chairman)- Coleraine Rugby Club Officers, Geoff Love (President) and Nigel Handsforth (Chairman), together with members of the Coleraine Rugby Club Chargers and their Coaches.
Also in attendance was Lady Julie Frazer, RDANI Chairperson, the Saturday morning riding group at RDA Coleraine and their parents together with Coaches, Christine Hankin and Helen Christie, and representatives of RDA Coleraine’s Committee, its volunteers and helpers.
Rex Humphrey welcomed the guests and thanked the Wooden Spoon for their donation, indicating the value of donations from charities such as the Wooden Spoon to enable RDA Coleraine to provide riding opportunities to about 100 people with a disability weekly, mainly from Special Schools and Units, but also with parents on Saturdays.
Willie John McBride said that he had visited the centre previously at the 40th anniversary in 2015 in his role as RDANI Vice President, and was delighted to be involved in continuing to support RDA Coleraine.
Peter Wood stated that the Wooden Spoon had previously supported RDA Groups in Northern Ireland and had raised over £600,000 for charities in his time as chairman. Geoff Love added that he was pleased that Coleraine Rugby Club was able to support the excellent work carried out by RDA Coleraine over many years, and the connection also included ‘indoor’ training on occasions.
Nigel Handsforth said he had been in regular attendance at RDA Coleraine in the past with a family member, and could testify to the value of the activities carried out.
On behalf of RDANI, Lady Julie Frazer thanked the Wooden Spoon for their support and everyone for their attendance, praising the way the organisations worked together, and looked forward to an ongoing relationship.
She also said that she was delighted with the quality of the new pony, Jack, who behaved impeccably throughout the ceremony.