Over a hundred guests and delegates from various industry sectors attended the ‘Preview and Tour’ event at the Royal Greenwich Equestrian Centre, an Olympic Legacy project involving a partnership between Hadlow College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Supported by additional sponsorship from the British Equestrian Federation and Sport England, the project fulfils the Olympic Legacy ideals which are very much concerned with social and economic regeneration and giving young people new, purposeful and life-changing opportunities – in this case by providing high quality training for qualifications that are sought after in the equestrian jobs market.
Guests included Clive Efford the Shadow Minister for Sport, representatives of the British Equestrian Federation and Sport England and delegates representing numerous equestrian bodies and industry sectors.
Hadlow Principal Paul Hannan gave the welcoming address and presentations were given by Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, the college’s director of finance and resources, and Cllr. Denise Hyland, the Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills
As one of the UK’s leading land-based colleges (graded Outstanding by Ofsted), Hadlow has a highly profiled equestrian department at the main campus near Tonbridge. The new equestrian centre affords the college opportunity to introduce equestrianism to people, especially the Royal Borough’s young residents, who might not previously have had chance for involvement.
The centre’s facilities include Monarch stabling for 27 horses, an indoor riding arena, outdoor manege and wash-down and farrier/treatment areas. The impressive rehabilitation unit includes a self-contained equine spa (one of the most advanced units of this type in the UK), a 25metre equine swimming pool, solaria, a laboratory, treadmills, horse-walker, hydrotherapy unit and a dedicated science lab.
The centre is already offering a number of BHS career and recreation-type courses. In September these will be joined by Further Education Level 1 and 2 courses plus the very exciting BSc(Hons) programme in Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation which complements the BSc(Hons) programme in Equine Management offered at the main campus in Hadlow.
Staff at the Greenwich centre will work in close cooperation with equine vets and physiotherapists – and they and the students are also looking forward to liaising with The King’s Troop, RHA – whose barracks are nearby – the local Riding for the Disabled group and other equestrian-related bodies.
Students at Greenwich will have plenty of opportunities to visit Hadlow’s main campus with its facilities that include two indoor arenas, outdoor manege, cross county course and jumping paddock. They will be able to attend demonstrations and talks by leading riders and trainers and will also be encouraged to take part in competitions, shows and other events.
Derek Payne, Faculty Manager Equine, worked closely with the architects and the multi-million pound project was delivered on time and on budget. Hadlow College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich partnership is proud to have produced a state-of-the-art, functional and attractive centre that will fulfil the ideals of the Olympic Legacy.
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Hadlow’s Director of Finance and Resources, worked with the Royal Borough to bring the initial bid to fruition. ‘Three words’, he says, ‘symbolise the centre. Partnership – because the project would not have been achieved without the council and the college working together supported by the British Equestrian Federation and Sport England. Vision – because the easy route would have been to go for a riding school but we chose to build a centre that really does much, much more by bringing together community opportunities, education, business and research. The final word is Legacy – because the centre fulfils the ideals that underpin the Legacy vision’. Summing up, he said ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council. We have created something new, very different and lasting – the word ‘lasting’ is very important – which offers enduring opportunities for young people‘.
- Information about the centre and the courses can be obtained by contacting the Hadlow College helpline: 0500 551434.