Selkirk squad rides in to ensure stability

Members of the volunteer Selkirk groupMembers of the volunteer Selkirk group
Members of the volunteer Selkirk group
When it comes to helping out charitable organisations, Selkirk rugby players know it’s very much a case of ‘horses for courses’, writes John Smail.

So when a call for assistance was received from the Stable Life riding centre near Ashkirk, the Philiphaugh players’ response was positive.

The indoor riding school at Dryden was built in 1969 and has recently begun to show its age. The team at Stable Life has been planning its complete refurbishment for the past three years, managing to secure grant funding as well as receiving support via crowd-funding and donations.

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Stable Life’s equine director is Sam Anderson, wife of Selkirk Rugby Club vice-president David Anderson.

“The refurb work is due to start this week,” Sam told the website. “Before the contractors arrive, we needed to clear around the outside of the building and also take out all the equipment from inside. Having the Selkirk players come over to do this has been a huge help and we’re very grateful.

“Stable Life is a children’s charity to support vulnerable young people with social, emotional and behavioural issues,” Sam added. “The other part of it is the commercial side – we have a social enterprise to boost the charity to help us be sustainable. We do riding lessons and liveries and hire out the school, as well as hosting competitions.

“The indoor school is a huge asset, especially with the kind of weather we get – even in summer. The original steel frame is staying but everything else is being replaced and the work is expected to take six weeks.”

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A total of nine players were recruited by Selkirk ‘A’ player-coach David Cassidy to carry out the work on Saturday morning. Among the volunteers was David and Sam Anderson’s son Callum.

“I put a message up on the players’ WhatsApp chat group and, within 10 minutes, had enough boys for the job,” said David.

“It’s good being able to support the local community, and I’m sure everybody’s enjoyed doing their bit here.”

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