18 riders selected for Riding A Dream Academy residential week and scholarship
The first 18 riders from underrepresented communities have been selected for the Riding A Dream Academy which is sponsored by the Racing Foundation. Eight young people will start their year-long Khadijah Mellah Scholarship course in August and be joined with 10 others for the residential week which involves a riding-based course designed to provide an introduction to racing.
Four of the people accepted on to the programme come from the Urban Equestrian Academy in Leicester, with others coming from Park Lane Stables, Twickenham and Ebony Horse Club, Brixton.
Freedom Zamapaladus, founder of the Urban Equestrian Academy said: “I am so proud of the young people who have been accepted onto the Riding A Dream Academy.
“They have all shown that no matter where you come from, if you work hard and believe in yourself you can achieve anything. We are all very proud that the Urban Equestrian Academy has had such an impact on young kids’ lives in Leicester and prepared them for this next step in racing. We are very grateful to the Riding A Dream Academy for giving them this opportunity.”
Aamilah Aswat, from Gloucester who has been selected for the scholarship and place is sponsored by The Jockey Club said: “I am so excited to have been accepted onto the Scholarship. I have always loved horses and my dream is to ride in and win the Grand National. I recently won my first pony race and it was so amazing. I am so pleased that through the Scholarship I will be able to get even more experience in racing and hopefully achieve all my dreams.”
Khadijah Mellah said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response to the Riding A Dream Academy and it has been really humbling to have read so many incredible applications from young people with a passion for racing.
“We are so excited to be welcoming our first attendees this summer and hope that the Academy will become a long-term project which continues to support young people from underrepresented communities, disadvantaged backgrounds and those who wouldn’t otherwise have a pathway into racing to get involved in the sport. If just one of our attendees went onto ride in a race because they had been given the chance to be on the Academy, I would be just over the moon.”
To learn more about the Riding A Dream Academy visit their website here.