Suffolk

London 2012: Suffolk horse riding centre's Olympic legacy

Valley Farm Equestrian Leisure
Image caption The indoor centre, which is built on a former field, will be surfaced

A Suffolk horse riding centre is to build new facilities using money from the London 2012 Olympic legacy fund.

Valley Farm Equestrian Leisure in Wickham Market has been given £47,975 to surface its indoor arena and create an outdoor arena.

The centre will also build showers and toilets so disabled riders can stay for residential visits.

Sarah Robertson, owner, said: "This allows people from all walks of life to come and try out the sport."

The centre has 50 horses and offers children's residential holidays, riding for disabled people and some free taster sessions.

The legacy money will go towards a £65,000 upgrade of facilities including a new fibre and sand surface for the indoor centre, which was built over a former field.

'Enormous opportunity'

Ms Robertson said: "It's about getting the grass roots level rider going and without that you wouldn't have the opportunity for British success at the Olympics.

"Some of the sessions can be expensive, but we have many free sessions as well.

"It helps if you have your own horse, but some people do ride other people's horses - look at jockeys - and [legacy funding] is an enormous benefit to sport in general and it's such an enormous opportunity."

Richard Lewis, chair of Sport England which distributes the money from the Inspired Facilities Fund, said: "This investment will create a fantastic sporting legacy for Wickham Market.

"It shows we're offering the legacy that people want for their local community."

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said: "[The Inspired Facilities Fund] will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will, I hope, inspire them to take up sport."

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