Retford RDA relay team Paula, Steph, Sarah, Becky and Penny
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is a charity that’s not hugely known outside equestrian circles – but it’s one that’s very close to the heart of our MD Todd’s sister-in-law, Penny McQuilkin. And when Penny decided to run the 2013 Robin Hood Half Marathon to raise funds for her local RDA Group in Retford, Air-IT was quick to sign up as a sponsor.
Formed in 1985, Retford & District RDA is part of a national network of 500 volunteer groups across the country who provide riding lessons and activities for up to 28,000 disabled people each year.
The Retford Group meets every Thursday evening at Wellow Park Stables, where they help local children and young adults with a wide range of physical disabilities and special educational needs take part in equestrian activities.
This is the second year that Penny has run the Half Marathon in aid of Retford RDA, where she’s worked as a volunteer for the last nine years, and the second time that Air-IT has been proud to sponsor her efforts.
‘I felt a bit guilty contacting everyone again after they supported me so generously last year,’ says Penny. ‘But I was delighted to receive a fantastic response and to date, I’ve raised over £1,800 through my JustGiving page. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me.’
Penny’s hopes of beating her 2012 time of 2 hours, 22 minutes and 55 seconds didn’t come to fruition, but she achieved a very respectable 2 hours 29 minutes and 43 seconds, finishing 29th in the Corporate Relay Challenge. Cheered on by over 10,000 spectators, Penny completed a 13.1 mile route which started on Nottingham Embankment and wound its way around some of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Penny was joined by running partner Roy and 11 other friends, parents, riders and volunteers of Retford RDA in her quest to raise funds and keep local disabled riders in the saddle. And she was singled out for special praise from Group Secretary Sandra Green, who commented that it was Penny’s decision to run the 2012 Half Marathon that inspired the others to take part.
Like all RDA Groups, Retford RDA relies solely on voluntary help and donations to continue its vital work with disabled riders. Air-IT is proud to sponsor such a worthy cause and help safeguard the Group’s future.
Penny’s JustGiving account is still live, so please visit her page if you’d like to make a donation.