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One Fylde’s Joanna celebrates a hat-trick of medals at North-West special Olympics

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Joanna’s success at the North West Special Olympics

One Fylde CEO Tracey Bush explained, “We are so proud of Joanna, these are fantastic achievements, well done!”

Joanna’s success follows her joining the Wirral Riding Centre – which is home to the North West Special Olympics Equine Team – nearly two years ago, where she has particularly enjoyed riding her favourite horses, Jake and Murphy, whilst further honing her horsewomanship skills.

Joanna said, “I was delighted and very pleased to win three medals and three Rosettes. I have been horse riding with RDA since I was a very young child and it was so nice to show off what I have learnt. It was a really great experience. I am very much looking forward to competing in the Special Olympics Competitions in the future. Thank you very much to Debbie, our Special Olympics North West Coach, and Chrissy for helping us. Thank you very much to Parklands Equestrian Centre for hosting the Special Olympics Equestrian Competition and thank you very much to my One Fylde support workers Tracy and Liz for supporting me during the Special Olympics Competition.”

Joanna decided that she would like to take part in the regional competition, which was held in Sheffield over three days. The first day was to pair Joanna with a suitable horse, Blue, and allow her to ride to become comfortable and familiar with a new horse.

As part of her preparation, Joanna continued to attend her weekly lessons at Wirral Riding Centre and her support staff registered to become Special Olympics Volunteers.

Debbie Evans, from Wirral Riding Centre, said, “We’d like to offer our sincere congratulations to Joanna, who performed brilliantly at the competition and we look forward to her competing in future events. It was an incredible experience for Joanna and her team.”

The centre conducts over 4,000 rides for Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) riders in the form of group rides and private lessons, making it one of the biggest RDA centres in the country and is home to the North West Special Olympics Equine Team.

Special Olympics Great Britain is a non-profit organisation and the largest provider of year-round sports training and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults of all abilities, with intellectual disabilities, also known as learning disabilities.

Its ambassadors include England and Manchester City football star Jack Grealish, famous actor Jim Carter, well-known for his role as Mr Carson in ITV’s Downton Abbey, and Jessie Pavelka, a renowned lifestyle expert and star of NBC’s The Biggest Loser and Sky TV’s A Year to Save My Live.

With a competition pathway designed to nurture and progress athletes from local competitions through to accessing elite-level competitions, Special Olympics GB is focused on ability, not disability and provides opportunities for athletes to compete with others at similar levels both at home and abroad.

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