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Sylvia Grasmueck is thrilled to be the recipient of the New Zealand Riding For The Disabled volunteer award. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Talk about a pleasant shock.

Oamaru woman Sylvia Grasmueck was “humbled” when she received the New Zealand Riding For The Disabled volunteer award recently.

She knew she had been nominated by members of the North Otago RDA branch but never imagined she would win.

The award is given annually to a volunteer who has worked extensively with the RDA organisation.

It was nice to be recognised by others, Mrs Grasmueck said.

“I was really rapt and humbled as well. I’m really grateful to the team.”

Mrs Grasmueck became involved with RDA when she moved to Oamaru with her husband and children 30 years ago.

Being a newcomer, she did not know many people in town so wanted to take up something that would keep her busy and help her make new friends.

“I came to Oamaru not really knowing anyone,” she said.

“My husband went to work, the kids went to school and I thought, ‘What am I going to do with myself?’.”

She stumbled upon RDA when she saw an advertisement seeking more volunteers.

It was a combined love of horses and helping others that inspired her to join the group.

“I love helping people, especially disadvantaged people,” she said.

“I think the most rewarding thing is seeing the kids smile.”

Mrs Grasmueck believed the award did not recognise just her work, it also recognised the whole team’s hard work within the RDA.

“It represents the team as well, not just myself. Without the team we wouldn’t be where we are.”