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No change for riding group in South West

Emily AceSouth Western Times

It is “business as usual” for the Riding for the Disabled Association South West centre, after board vice-chairman Michael Finn confirmed it would not follow the lead of the State body in changing its name to HorsePower Australia.

In a media statement earlier this month, RDA WA, which was the umbrella body for 19 centres across the State, announced the new name and look for the organisation after it deemed the terminology “disabled” was becoming less desirable.

Although the statement announced the affiliated centres, including the South West branch, would adopt the changes, Mr Finn said this was not the case.

He said about five centres in WA made the decision to leave the State body and in turn become associate members of RDA Australia.

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“For the life of me I still can’t understand why WA chose to disaffiliate from the parent organisation,” Mr Finn said.

“We have been 40 years as the RDA South West centre and will remain the South West centre of RDA.

“The benefits of that are the national body provides standards for the training of coaches and it’s the coaches who actually provide the riding services for people with disabilities.

“Unfortunately those centres who have chosen to become HorsePower won’t have that national or international affiliation.”

Mr Finn said the reasoning behind the name change was “a bit of a mystery”.

“We have the National Disability Insurance Scheme, we have the Department of Communities’ Disability Services – it is not politically incorrect to refer to people who have disabilities, it is not a denigration in any way at all,” he said.

“It is unfortunate the WA branch has chosen to take this course of action because all it has really done is create confusion.”

Mr Finn encouraged the community to take up the opportunity to use the centre and the wide range of activities available.

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