Bag of Gold Winners: Cambs RDA
For the past two months, Mick George Ltd has been running its ‘Bag of Gold’ competition in Cambridgeshire, providing local sports clubs and community groups the chance to win £1,000.
Over 100 applications were proposed before a shortlist of the 24 most deserving cases were put forward to the voting stage. In excess of 1,500 votes were submitted ahead of the eventual winners being selected based on the most votes received.
It was certainly a closely contested battle, with less than 4% separating the top three positions. Congratulations to Cambridge College RDA (Riding for the disabled) for scooping the third Cambridgeshire ‘Bag of Gold’ accolade.
The group managed to edge out Hardwick & Cambourne Community Primary School who were worthy runners-up, while third position was secured by Caldecote Care Clubs.
Cambs College RDA is a fun and friendly group which provides equestrian activities to young adults with disabilities, including; physical, sensory and, or learning disabilities. Founded in the 1980’s, the organisation offers a series of dressage, showjumping, vaulting, endurance and various other types of riding provisions to those aged between 16 and 30.
Horse riding has always been a notoriously expensive hobby, but with the RDA’s activities heavily subsidised, the group has always managed to keep the price affordable to attract maximum audiences.
However, at present the group only has 5 active horses, of which two are nearing retirement age so the winning funds couldn’t have arrived at a more suitable time, with the £1,000 utilised to add to the existing crop.
Gillian Newsome, Chairman of Cambridge College RDA said: "Our lessons provide riders with many benefits. As well as physical and mental improvements, they gain a sense of achievement, a rapport with horses and they enjoy the company and support of their fellow riders. In many cases our group is the focal point for young, disabled school-leavers who can find it difficult to adjust to life after school.''
Newsome continued: ''This year, 13 of our riders, out of group of 18 regular participants, have qualified for the RDA National Championships. We also have two riders working at para level, one of whom was selected to represent the East Region at the Para Home International competition in April – a huge achievement and a wonderful experience.’’
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd: ‘’It was fantastic to see the community embrace the Bag of Gold competition, the support that the various groups received was overwhelming. This is the third time that we have run the competition in Cambridgeshire and it’s clear to see by the vast number of entries received, just how important this support can be for the development of each nomination.’’
Stump Continued: ‘’Cambridgeshire is our homeland, and as such we are increasingly active within the area supporting activities, individuals, clubs and charities at all levels. The Mick George Bag of Gold competition provides a little more insight to what the community really care about and are involved in within their daily lives. The £1,000 prize fund will undoubtedly make a real difference and should help build to a brighter future. We are proud of our community initiatives and look forward to any forthcoming engagement.’’