There’ll be one local group cheering louder than most for Townsville runners in the Coral Coast Shield race day at Cluden Park on Saturday.
Riding for the Disabled Association Queensland (RDAQ) Townsville is the Townsville Turf Club’s charity partner and stands to pick up $10,000 in funding if the club wins the Coral Coast Shield series.
Turf Club manager Natalie Rintala said a win would provide valuable funding for a great cause.
“RDAQ Townsville do such a great job providing opportunities for people with disabilities and they do this with limited resources,” Ms Rintala said.
“The Coral Coast series provides all of the charity partners with a guaranteed $5000, but the charity from the winning club will collect the Charity Shield and double that amount.
“It’s a great concept and with Townsville on top of the points table going into Saturday, we’re feeling very optimistic about our chances.”
RDAQ Townsville chairperson Toni McIntosh said the win would be a huge boost for RDAQ Townsville, which relied almost solely on local fundraising and donations.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Townsville Turf Club for their support and nominating us as the charity partner for the series,” Ms McIntosh said.
“The funding will be very important as RDAQ is a not-for-profit organization and we rely heavily on generous donations from the community.
”What this means for us is that we will be able to purchase more suitable horses for our participants.
“We had two horses retire last year and our beautiful Maggie, who was the RDA Australia Horse of the Year in 2018, is now 29 and coming to the end of her career.
“Horses that meet the RDA’s strict requirements for size, temperament, and responsiveness for people with disabilities are rare as hen's teeth.
“To win the Charity Shield on the weekend would be amazing.”
RDAQ Townsville assists 16 riders each year under the guidance of a fully accredited coach and up to 20 community volunteers.
Ms McIntosh said she was completing her training accreditation to become a coach and the RDAQ Townsville was always on the lookout for more volunteers.
Support the work of RDAQ by donating via one of the volunteers at tomorrow's race day, or visit www.rdaq.org.au/get-involved.