THE Princess Royal has launched a new national coaching academy on behalf of Shrewley-based Riding for the Disabled Association.
The academy is expected to significantly increase learning opportunities for coaches working with disabled horse riders and carriage drivers in the UK.
Called the Princess Royal Coaching Academy, it recognises the importance of high performing coaches working with disabled riders which in turn will increase the number of disabled people RDA can support.
Speaking to RDA UK volunteers, coaches and staff, The Princess Royal referenced the early pioneers of RDA coaching: “It was that early understanding and example of standards that has made the organisation what it is.
“And for those of you who have followed in those footsteps and developed in your own ways in your own groups and in your own areas, there is a huge amount we have learned.
“I hope you will agree the coaching academy is an appropriate use of that experience – and will make all of that experience go a little bit further, to encourage more people to take their places in the RDA.”
The ceremony marked the 50th anniversary of The Princess Royal becoming the RDA’s Patron. She became President in 1985.
Ed Bracher, chief executive of Riding for the Disabled Association, said: “Our coaches lie at the heart of the RDA’s work and through the academy we aim to nurture talent, innovation and excellence.”
Philanthropist John Studzinski CBE, who is supporting the first two years of the Academy, added: “The coaching academy will strengthen the RDA’s provision of training and support for its volunteers, coaches and mentors.
“Ultimately this will provide an even better experience for all the disabled children and adults the charity helps.
“I first got to know about the RDA over 10 years ago and was immediately struck by the value of its work.
“For me, above all else, RDA brings human dignity to people, which is a recurring theme across my philanthropic interests.”