Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham went to visit one of Newham's hidden treasures last week, the Newham Riding School. The School, based in Clapgates Lane, Beckton, provides the opportunity for children and young people to learn how to ride and look after horses as well as giving advanced training.
The school was set up in 1970 by Linda Greaves with the aim of engaging inner-London children in equestrian sports, a rare opportunity. Linda, who retired earlier this year, was awarded an MBE for all her hard work.
With 18 horses, the school offers top class equestrian facilities and two years ago they had a substantial upgrade with a new building. The centre provides a great opportunity for local children to try something new as well as helping them to be active and fit - especially important with current concerns about childhood obesity. The school also provides facilities for disabled children and adults to learn how to ride.
The school isn't just for beginners. Maggie Cox, the newly appointed Centre Manager, explained to Mr Timms how there are many career opportunities available through horse riding and that the school also provides exam training to NVQ level as well as qualifications through the Association of British Riding School, and the British Horse Society.
Mr Timms said "Many people in Newham are not aware that we have such great facilities for riding available in our Borough. With the Olympics coming, it is great to know that Newham is engaged with every kind of sport, including riding. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have an Olympic horse rider born and trained in Newham?"
For more information about the Riding School you can call them on 020 7511 3917 or 020 7473 4951.