12 June 2015
A horse rider from Oaklands College got the surprise of her life when she met her sporting hero.
Georgina Maton, 25, is preparing to represent Great Britain in equestrian at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles in July.
Georgina thought it was just another normal day at college, until Paralympic equestrian rider Natasha Baker MBE, dropped in to pay her a surprise visit.
After getting over the initial shock, the two riders chatted about their passion for riding, after which Georgina took to the saddle while Natasha gave her a private coaching session.
Georgina said: “I was so excited because I have always wanted to meet her. Her tips were really helpful and I really appreciate her help. I’m really excited about Los Angeles, I’m looking forward to it and seeing what awards I might come back with.”
Natasha, who won two gold medals in dressage at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, said: “Her reaction was priceless. I wasn’t sure how she would react and what she would think as it was a total surprise for her but she was so happy. She is doing amazingly well - her riding has come on in leaps and bounds. To go to Los Angeles and compete for her country is an amazing opportunity. I have told her to have fun, which is the most important thing, get to know her horse and do her best.”
Georgina, who has learning disabilities and weakness on the right side of her body, started riding at the age of five and hasn’t let her disability stop her studying at the College and working three days a week as a supported member of staff.