Volunteering as a Regional Representative

Hear about Anna's volunteering story!

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer as Youth Rep because I absolutely loved my time as a BD Youth rider and competing for team Wales, so I wanted to encourage as many young riders as I can to get involved. I had so much fun, made amazing friends and created fantastic memories at the training days, camps and competitions which made me want to give back to what has given me so much enjoyment.

I didn't get involved as a rider until I was a bit older, as the pathways were harder to understand and believing I wasn't good enough to take part. I want to ensure that riders don’t feel like that! I'm fully equipped and eager to assist young riders to take full advantage of what's on offer for them.

What's your favourite part about volunteering?

I love watching the riders progress with their horses and seeing them accomplish goals that they have set for themselves. Seeing how quickly the riders form friendships and how these friendships continue even though the riders may live quite far apart and only see each other at camps or team competitions a few times a year. 

What would your advice be to someone who wishes to volunteer in your role?

Do it! There is so much fun to be had and fantastic memories to be created so if you have the opportunity just get involved.

What's been the most memorable moment?

I am super competitive so I always enjoy watching my riders do well and achieving goals, whatever level that may be. However, the most memorable moment for me was probably at our summer camp last year. We had a fantastic day consisting of various ridden activities and talks, but in the evening we did an obstacle course/relay race without the horses. Everyone got involved and it was so lovely to see all the riders of various ages, genders and backgrounds laughing and having fun together. I think that sums up what BD Youth is all about!

What are the key skills you have to be able to do your role?

I think communicating well, being friendly and approachable and having good knowledge about all the opportunities available are the most important skills. Having been a BD Youth rider with a mum who didn't have much knowledge about the pathways, levels, rules and qualifications, I know how confusing and daunting it can seem.

Also being empathetic and approachable is important so people feel they can speak to you. From personal experience as a youth rider I understand how the riders and support teams are feeling which means I can help youth riders on their own BD journeys.