NEWS > Para-Equestrian
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 13/02/2013.

Joann Formosa inspires a future generation of equestrians

Joann Formosa speaks to Berwick Pony Club members

Junior members of the Berwick Pony Club in Melbourne's south east were too excited to sleep on the eve of their club meeting on Sunday.

London Paralympic gold medallist Joann Formosa was a special guest at the club after they won a national competition run by Equestrian Australia and Pony Club Australia during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The competition is one of several initiatives that the two organisations are currently working on to boost participation at the grassroots.

Equestrian and Pony Clubs had to create a 30 second commercial encouraging new members to join their club where the major prize was a visit from a member of Australia’s equestrian team.

The club penned a song with original lyrics to the tune of Waltzing Matilda (watch the Berwick Pony Club’s winning entryHERE).  

“The song lyric actually came to me in a dream. At the next team meeting I mentioned it to the Club and all the kids threw ideas in and it grew from there,” said 24 year old Kym Feore who is the secretary of the Club.

“We’re a pretty fun club and everyone was up for it. We thought it would be a really great opportunity if something came out of it and if not at the very least we’d have some cool videos for the website and a bit of fun for the kids.

“It took about 20 minutes on the day to film the singing part and then we filmed the rally. I sat down with one of the girls to put the video together.”

Kym was thrilled to receive the news that the Club won and couldn’t wait to deliver the good news. 

“We had one mum cry, she burst into tears and all the kids just couldn’t have been happier, it was just so much fun and I can’t believe it was a national competition. We’re such a small club at the moment but it was a lot of fun.

“We’ve watched Jo for quite a number of years and we think she’s fantastic, she’s such an inspirational person.”

“When she handed us her gold medal to hold, she told us to put it on, touch it, close our eyes and imagine where we want to be with our riding.”

Australia’s National Coach of Para-Equestrian, Julia Battams also attended the day and put the young riders through their paces with a series of coaching sessions.

“It was really tough. We worked on balance and it was fantastic. Everyone’s technique and style improved really well throughout the lessons. Julia explained a few things that Jo is taught. It was really tough but really fun,” Kym said.

The duo also brought along memorabilia from the Paralympic Games, spoke of the highs and lows of the London campaign and encouraged the young riders to keep training and aspiring to be the best they can be. A lasting memory of the day was presented to the Club in the form of an Australian Paralympic Team t-shirt which both Joann and Julia signed.

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