Congratulations to the winner of the 2021 Tack Room Makeover contest: Valley View Vaulters, nominated by volunteer Donna Hensley!
Here’s some of what Donna had to share about the program:
“Valley View Vaulters recognizes the need for people of all abilities to work and learn together, which helps all our vaulters—regardless of their abilities—to become both sensitive to and accepting of people with different needs and abilities.
Our riders have had arthritis, amputations, autism, vision impairment, blindness, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, Down syndrome, hydrocephalus, hyperactivity, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, learning disorders, and more. Physically, vaulting helps by building strength, balance, posture, coordination, endurance, and muscle tone.
Mentally and emotionally, vaulting helps improve awareness, attention span, concentration, vocabulary, decision-making, self-discipline, and self-esteem. Socially, vaulting helps to build relationships that teach the importance of interaction with peers and gives the vaulter a recreational activity they love. All these traits and values enable individuals to live a more independent and productive life, whether they have disabilities are not.
Rick Hawthorne, the co-founder Valley View Vaulters, lost his left arm and shoulder. He was bullied for this, so he intimately knows the struggles of fitting in. Valley View Vaulters is the largest club in the United States of its kind and has pioneered the movement to work with vaulters of all ages and abilities.
The lessons learned here last a lifetime.” —Donna Hensely