The threat of SARDA’s possible loss of land could affect the entire future of the association. Without this valuable organisation a community of more than 200 people living with disabilities in the Western Cape alone, nearly forty dedicated SARDA helpers and the surrounding supportive Constantia Community in addition to the hopes and the reality of daily life changes to the disabled will be lost.
Beneficiaries of therapeutic riding at SARDA
The beneficiaries of the SARDA therapeutic riding are as follows:
Approximately 220 disabled children per annum from the Cape Peninsula which includes the special needs schools that currently participating in the SARDA programmes:
- Alpha School for Autistic Children, Woodstock
- Tembaletu School for Challenged Learners, Gugulethu
- Vista Nova School for Cerebral Palsy, Rondebosch
- Blouvlei Resource Centre, Retreat
- Filia Training Centre, Goodwood
- Bel Porto School, Lansdowne
- Vera School for Autistic Children, Rondebosch East
- Astra School for Physically Disabled, Montana
- Glenbridge School, Diep River
- Mary Harding School, Athlone
- St Joseph’s Home R.C. Primary, Montana
- Eros School, Athlone
- Molenbeeck School, Maitland
- Oasis Special School, Belhar
Approximately 80% of the children who attend SARDA are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
In order to carry out the therapeutic riding provided at SARDA , we have the following facilities and resources which are now threatened:
- 13 horses and ponies of assorted sizes (including the mascot horse) that are specially selected for their movement and temperament.
- The following trained volunteers, all of whom reside in the suburbs around the SARDA premises and for whom the location of SARDA is of paramount importance for them to volunteer their time:
- A trained horse leader for each horse to lead the horse during therapy sessions
- Approximately 100 trained volunteers who walk beside the horses to assist the children maintain their balance and to help build up their confidence. They help the children with exercises.
- 12 qualified instructors who have both passed the stringent riding for disabled and other exams on various disabilities as well as being required to have knowledge on the care and control of horses.
- We have approximately 120 helpers who have been trained to side-walk and lead a horse correctly
- Grooms and a Stable manager
- 10 indoor stables and 3 stables under shelters;
- One large outdoor arena (50m x 30m);
- One indoor arena (25m x 50m);
- A lungeing ring (15m diameter);
- Special ramps for allowing disabled children to get on on the horses;
- 10 hectares of grazing divided into a number of paddocks. The paddocks are essential as not all the horses can be put in one area and rotation of these paddocks is essential for rehabilitation of grass;
- Store rooms for hay/feed/bedding/implements/tack – saddles and bridles/horse medication/equipment – helmets, boots and exercise equipment.
Most of the SARDA equipment has been donated by friends of SARDA;
Toilets, including one specifically designed for children living with disabilities; Accommodation for the stable manager ;
• Bus and car parking;
It has taken SARDA 40 years to build this impressive facility on the land in Brommersvlei Road.