All Women Horse Riders of Mlore Horse Riding Academy Celebrate Intl Women’s Day with a RALLY

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All Women Horse Riders of Mangalore Horse Riding Academy celebrate International Women’s Day with a RALLY on the theme “Women for Tomorrow”

Mangaluru: Quoting Ginger Roger- “There is nothing a man can do that I can’t do better and in heels.”-Indeed, no struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. Women are the most beautiful creation of society. Feminism isn’t about making women strong; Women are already strong; It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength.

“A man does what he can; A woman does what man cannot.” has said Isabel Allende, and it was an auspicious day in the lives of each and every one of us as we celebrated International Women’s day. On this day we celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of Women. It is a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. The day also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It provided an opportunity to honour the generations of trailblazing women and girls who have built our Nation, shaped our progress, and strengthened our character as a people. The colours of International Women’s Day are purple, green, and white. Purple is the colour of justice and dignity.

Why is International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8? According to the UN, the modern celebration is connected to a protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” held by Russian women in 1917. In 1911, International Women’s Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. Between 1913 and 1914, women in Russia observed their first Women’s Day on February 23. Later, it was decided that March 8 can be the globally accepted day to celebrate IWD. International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.

And to mark International Women’s Day, Mangalore Horse Riding Academy held a RALLY commencing from Deputy Commissioner’s office premises and culminating at Academy premises near Kadri Park, Mangaluru. The rally was flagged off by Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra, who after inaugurating said, “Horse riding is a sport in so many ways, with hundreds of different areas in which you can focus on. Whether it’s dressage, horse racing or simply taking your horse out for a hack, all these sports are good for our mental and physical health and work on muscles like core, arm and leg strength. Riders can develop better reflexes and a sense of balance and coordination as they use their entire body to guide and propel the horse forward. Riding also offers cardio benefits and builds muscles and physical strength. It’s indeed nice to see that young women have accepted the gauntlet of taking up this sport, thus highlighting Women Empowerment”.

Following the rally taken last year to bring awareness of Pandemic/Covid-19 by Mangalore Horse Riding Academy, this Rally to mark Women’s Day was probably the first horse rally by women riders in the state. The rally covered a distance of around 7 km and passed through the clock tower, Hampankatta, KS Rao Road, Kodialbail, MG Road, Bejai, Circuit House, Kadri Park and ended at the academy. A brief cultural programme highlighting the importance of women after the rally was held on the academy campus. Only female riders between the age of 6 years to 40 years participated in the rally. The motto behind this rally was – Women Empowerment; Women Fitness Enthusiasm; Tourism Enthusiasm and Development; Equestrian Sports Development; and Dignity, Respect and Justice for Women. The rally consisted of around 20 female riders, 7 horses, one pony, one Victoria Chariot and other riders. The youngest rider was Reines Fernandes, aged 6 and stole the hearts of people lined up along the City streets.

Ms Tejaswitha Walvekar aged 41, the proprietor of ‘Cake My Day’, a cake and pastry shop near Don Bosco Hall/Balmatta Road all attired in a green traditional Indian outfit was the star attraction of the rally, riding on the Victoria chariot. Just started to ride a horse three months ago, and with dedicated training from Avinandan Achanahalli, the young man at the helm of the Academy, Tejaswitha says that she had gained good confidence and was all excited to ride a horse whenever she gets time, due to her hectic schedule.

The dignitaries for the formal function held after the rally were Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Nataraj;  and Mrs Shakila Kava, Area Corporator (Kadri Park). “Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night,” said George Herbert, the auspicious event began with the praise of the Most Merciful and the Most Benevolent, with Shawn Regan D’Souza, a member of the Academy led the prayers to invoke God’s choicest blessings. Mrs Smitha D’Souza, mother of Shawn Regan D’Souza (member of the Academy) welcomed the gathering, followed by the inauguration of the programme by lighting the traditional lamp by the dignitaries on the dais, and a couple of kid horse riders.

As it is said, “A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. Mothers are not the ones that have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up, despite the struggle”, the crowd gave a big round of applause to all the mothers for their sacrifices and hard work. Few of the mothers of the young riders who were felicitated with flowers were Mrs Sajida, the mother of Armaan; Mrs Meghana, the M/O Dia; Mrs Sapna Fernandes, the M/O Rishon and Reniece; Mrs Smitha D’Souza Fernandes, the M/O Shawn; Mrs Savitha, the M/O Diego and Delara; Mrs Archana, the M/O Monish; and mothers of Rishika, Dhruv and Sudarshan.

“Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class.” and it was time to felicitate the daring and gorgeous lady riders, who received awesome kits from Decathlon sports shop- the lovely lady riders were Ayisha Rasha; Florence; Anjali; Gauthami; Harshitha; Maithili; Rabia; Sharanya; Ashwitha; Tejaswitha; Dia; Delara; Reniece Lasrado and Rishika. As the saying goes, “A pinch of praise is worth a pound of scorn. A dash of encouragement is more helpful than a dipper pessimism, a cup of kindness is better than a cupboard of criticism.” by William Arthur Ward, the Academy acknowledged the talent, hard work and efforts of their women. It was a much-awaited event in every person’s life, as it gave the returns to the efforts put in by them throughout their endeavour. It also gave a sense of achievement and a sense of responsibility towards fulfilling further commitments.

Among the women, it was heart-touching to note that the Academy honoured Ms Mary Hilda Fernandes, age 68, (the grandmother of Rishon, Reniece and Shawn), an International Athlete having won over 500 Medals in State, National and International Athletics, and had participated in the 21st Asian Master’s Athletics Championship held at Kuching, Sarawak- Malaysia winning 3 Gold medals in 100 meters, long jump and triple jump, Silver in 200 meters and Bronze in 4×100.

68-year-old Hilda Fernandes

Age is Just a Number! At 65, Mangalorean Hilda Fernandes Still an Int’l Athlete having Won over 500 Medals

The dignitaries on the dais, namely ACP Nataraj, and MCC Corporator Shakila Kava spoke and congratulated Avinandan for his tremendous achievement in taking the Mangalore Horse Riding Academy to greater heights and earning a name and fame in town. The Vote of thanks was proposed by children riders, followed by words of gratitude also from Avinandan, who expressed his feelings and sentiments out of his heart to all those who supported and encouraged him to continue in running the Academy and attain success.

As part of the Cultural program, Monish Shah, performed a song “moonlight flower” dedicated to all the mothers; a spell-bounding dance by Reniece and Delara; Rishon doing a rendition of the song “Bad Liar” accompanied by guitar; and a couple more of Group song and dances. The rally and the formal function, later on, was simply awesome and everyone enjoyed it. And also the sumptuous snacks/drinks sponsored by The Chocolate Room, a Bistro and Cafe located in Empire Mall in the City.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, the mother of a young rider said, “This Academy is probably the only place in Dakshina Kannada district that offers training in horse riding. Staff are friendly and the senior rider gives personal attention to each rider. They take good care of the horses as well as other animals. A beautiful place where kids don’t use phones but still enjoy it a lot”. “Going to Mangluru horse riding academy I have learnt a lot of things from here, where the trainers put special interest in people and specially Avinandan is the best trainer to get trained under” said a young lady rider. Yet another rider said, “Friendly trainers, Friendly horses, Great experience, and as a student, I love to ride”.

No doubt, Mangalore has been subjected to something new since the beginning of 2015- ‘Mangaluru Horse Riding Academy’. It’s been seven years since the people of Kudla were introduced to Kudure, and since its advent, it has provided the people with a platform where you can get trained how to ride a horse. The only horse riding training institution in Dakshina Kannada was established in 2015 by an MSW graduate Avinand Achanahalli. The Academy is striving to make this activity into a platform of fun and a learning experience; one that has multiple benefits and sports potential which is therefore making it popular in the region of Mangaluru and it has been a viable asset to its people from the start.

The Academy provides various courses like Basic, Intermediate and Advanced training in various shifts and also conducts summer camps for the age groups starting for the children from an early age of six. Mangaluru Horse Riding Academy has a very eco-friendly campus and it provides an atmosphere filled with greenery and a variety of birds, which gives the people an opportunity to find absolute nirvana amidst the cooing sounds and experience pure solace. They also have pony day once a week, which gives importance to taking care of horses, feeding them etc. Through indulging in such activities the horse riding academy initiates a sense of compassion and concern in the minds of the people, especially towards the animals. Other than campus they take outdoor training in forests, sea and other adventure places to give the students a different exposure. Their students also participate in various competitions regarding horse riding.

Altogether it’s a great opportunity for Mangaloreans to go forward and it truly provides a unique experience. Additionally, they provide the location for events like photo shoots, birthday parties etc so that each person who comes can have a blast and take home tokens of a time well spent. This is a must-try activity as Horse Riding improves Physical Fitness, Strengthens Muscles, Relieves Stress; Increases level of confidence; and Weight loss and flexibility. So to those who have been waiting to learn Horse Riding, what are you waiting for?

The city of Mangalore has once again given its citizens an exuberant experience that is not only limited to learning skills such as trotting, cantering and galloping but also is paving way for inciting a sense of well-being of the mind as well as that of the body. Through providing such platforms people like Avinand need to be congratulated and recognized for being a valuable asset to the city of Kudla aka Horse!

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