6 May 2009

A Wrexham based charity is helping to get children with special needs into the saddle, with a little help from a London 2012 Paralympics hopeful and funding from the Sports Council for Wales.

The Sports Council for Wales has supported Clwyd Special Riding Centre (CSRC) with a Sportsmatch Cymru grant worth £3,250, which has allowed the Llanfynydd based centre to train nine additional instructors and introduce mentoring and volunteer training sessions.

CSRC Manager, Tess Chew said: "Thanks to the Sports Council for Wales and the Sportsmatch Cymru funding we have increased the number of instructors and riders at grassroots level, which is where we are strongest."

"We continue to be successful because we have good resources, a variety of coaches and horses to meet all needs and we have lots of positive role models."

Natalie Povey at Clwyd Special Riding Centre 2One such inspirational figure is Paralympic dressage rider and London 2012 hopeful, Natalie Povey, 20, from Wrexham who mentors youngsters at the riding centre and competes on one of their horses - Westpoint First Lady or Fizz.

Povey said: "I like to support the younger riders at the centre and watch them riding. They watch me sometimes to pick up tips."

Ms Chew adds, "Natalie has been very supportive of the younger athletes and is an excellent role model."

Born with spina bifida, Povey has been riding for six years, competing in para equestrian dressage for the past four years as a grade 1b rider, which means she is required to walk and trot.

She is supported by the Federation of Disability Sport Wales (FDSW) and is a member of the 2009/2010 World Class Development Programme* for Para Equestrian Dressage and has represented Great Britain at four international para dressage competitions over the past three years.

Sportsmatch Cymru is designed to encourage more business backing for grassroots sport by matching new or additional sponsorship.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said:

"With funding and support from the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Lottery, the Sports Council for Wales is helping to transform the sporting landscape in Wales. The considerable investment into community sport, facilities, equipment and coaches has impacted on communities throughout the principality and is helping to raise participation rates across the board.

"We want to hear of bright ideas and projects that will help us continue our mission to get more people in Wales more active, more often."

For more information about Clwyd Special Riding Centre, contact or .