Our staff

Elisha Olds. Manager
Elisha Olds. Manager

Elisha has been managing Tauranga RDA since 2014. She has a Bachelor of Tourism Management, and has considerable administration management experience. She thrives on the challenges faced with managing a not for profit organisation and enjoys working with the passionate team at RDA.

Elisha was raised in rural Te Puke, where she grew up with a love of all things horses, which drew her to a position at the Tauranga RDA. She lives in rural Te Puke with her husband Daniel and their two sons Cody and Leighton. She has been horse riding for many years and is a trained Equine Therapist.

Elisha is involved in NZRDA sitting on the National board and is part of the Certification Reviewers team. 

Elisha is passionate about RDA and the benefits it provides for the community. She is excited to take Tauranga RDA through the next growth stage so we can ultimately achieve our goal of reaching more riders. 

Contact Elisha by email at manager@taurangarda.co.nz or on 07 544 1899

Sharon Aldersley. Coach Therapist
Sharon Aldersley. Coach Therapist

Sharon is a physiotherapist and has worked in her current role at Tauranga RDA since 2008. Prior to that she volunteered with us and as a teenager volunteered with RDA in Gisborne. Sharon loves her work and is committed to helping our riders with disabilities achieve their goals.

It was Sharon’s work with RDA as a young woman that motivated her to train as a physiotherapist.  She enjoys riding herself and loves horses. Sharon has extensive experience working with people challenged by disability both within NZ and overseas.

She is married to Tony and has four children, Anna, Luke, Sophie and Nathan. The family home is at The Lakes. Sharon has always been very involved with her children’s schools and has a great commitment to her community. She also works part-time at Grace Hospital with people recovering from orthopedic surgery.

Claudia Cameron. Coach & Horse Manager
Claudia Cameron. Coach & Horse Manager

Claudia has been working as a coach with Tauranga RDA since 2014. She moved to NZ from England in 2010 and lives in Tauranga with her partner Mark and her dog Peta.

Claudia came from a very horse-focused family and started riding at the age of three when her older brother began riding lessons because she refused to be left out sitting on the sideline.

Claudia has instructed at Pony Club since she was 16 first in the UK and then NZ. Before staring at RDA she worked as a track rider and stable hand at a Te Puke racing yard.

She loves teaching children and helping them to improve and gain confidence and has played a major role in developing our junior volunteer program. She has been instrumental in expanding and developing our Life Skills therapy programs which are designed to assist those at-risk within our community as well as working with our riders who move into our Sport and Rec programs from our equestrian therapy program.

Angela O'Donnell. Volunteer Coordinator & Monday Coach
Angela O'Donnell. Volunteer Coordinator & Monday Coach

Angela joined RDA as Volunteer Coordinator having been a volunteer with the organisation. She has a strong background in administration and has worked as a trainer in a number of different business areas. Angela is married to Steve and assists him in the Guitar School he operates in Tauranga.

Angela has a great love for horses and grew up in Tauranga where as a young girl she used to spend her weekends and school holidays riding her grand-father’s horses on Papamoa Beach. She now has her own horse, Tigger who she rides on the local beaches and competes with in low level competition.

Angela is committed to supporting our volunteer force and ensuring that the gifts of their skills and valuable time are used effectively to assist our riders achieving their goals.

Angela has recently become the RDA Coach for the Monday Sessions and is studying to achieve her NZRDA coaching certificate

For information regarding volunteering please contact Angela by email at info@taurangarda.co.nz or telephone 07 544 1899

Michelle Watson. Coach
Michelle Watson. Coach

Michelle joined our coaching team in 2019, having previously volunteered for 5 years.
 
Home for Michelle is Papamoa where she lives with her husband Bede, their dogs Genki & Shibuya, Roma the cat, and two fish - the Finn brothers. Michelle is the first to admit that she is a little obsessed with animals.
 
Previously Michelle was a graphic designer responsible for a national network of designers, helping them succeed creatively while working in a team environment.
 
Michelle has played a lot of competitive sport and understands the importance of teamwork. She regards Tauranga RDA as the epitome of a successful winning team.
 
In 2018 Michelle graduated from her 200hr yoga teacher training and has been able apply her knowledge from this study to her coaching. She is now studying to gain her NZRDA coaching certificate.

Helen Davenport. Coach
Helen Davenport. Coach

Helen originally joined the RDA as a volunteer before becoming a Coach. Coming from a strong teaching background in both mainstream and special needs schools and having vast experience with horses, Helen has been an incredible asset to the Tauranga RDA team.

Helen has a wonderful manner with our riders and our horses and according to everyone who has played, runs the best game of Grandma’s Steps if you get a chance to join in!

Originally from the UK, Helen came here with her husband, two children and their two dogs.

Rosie Sheaff. Riding School Coordinator
Rosie Sheaff. Riding School Coordinator

Rosie has been volunteering here at Tauranga Riding for the Disabled since 2014. And in October 2018 she took over the role of our Own Your Own Pony Coordinator, in 2020 she has moved onto Riding School Coordinator. 

Rosie has always loved horses. Growing up around her Poppa's racehorses really sparked her interest in riding and at 11 she started regular riding lessons. And over the last three years, Rosie has been focusing on riding and assisting in the training of young horses and looking after her two horses, Bell and Lace (pictured).

Rosie has a clear passion for teaching and love for helping people develop their riding ability. Through her work with our holiday programme, she has been able to do both and have loved every minute of it. 

Possum. Rodent Controller
Possum. Rodent Controller

Possum joined the team in 2016 and though a tiny girl she has shown not only skills in the rodent control area but has proved to be an exceptional ‘mistress of discipline’ when it comes to the management of the dogs who accompany their humans to RDA. Possum is sponsored by Orijen a luxury brand of pet foods.

Peta. Office Entertainer
Peta. Office Entertainer

Would like to be out and about counting the Pukekos but for the meantime she has joined the meet and greet team in the office.

Come along for the ride! Give us a call on
07 544 1899

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