Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Illawarra - Case Study

RDA Illawarra, Australia

Project Outline

The RDA, based in the Illawarra region approximately 100km south of Sydney Australia, provide riding lessons for disabled children and young adults. The RDA was forced to close in early 2020 due to Covid-19, but by late in the year they were planning to re-open in the early months of 2021.

To make this possible, the RDA needed to recruit a large number of volunteers and keep donations from sponsors flowing in to cover the costs of maintaining their horses and their facilities.

The team at the RDA realised that using video to communicate their activities had great potential but they needed help, not just with the video production, but also with the marketing, to ensure that they reached their target audience.

Discovery Phase & Outline Project Plan

The initial discovery phase took place as a series of discussions with the RDA’s management committee and a select group of volunteers to understand how the organisation operated. It was established that there were three key groups of people:


The RDA's coaches, assistants, management committee and support staff.

Riders, Carers & Parents

The RDA's beneficiaries,


Organisations of different sizes and private individuals.

It was decided that the most cost and time effective process would be to conduct a series of filmed interviews with people from each of these groups to gain an understanding of their motivations and therefore be able to communicate key likely motivators for potential new volunteers and sponsors.

These interviews would then be edited into short, insightful clips and then the key elements could be combined into a final promotional video that would be used in a social-media viral marketing campaign designed to draw people to the RDA’s website where they could view the other clips and gain a better understanding of the RDA.

To provide supporting content for these short films, RDA’s facility would be filmed showing the volunteers at work with the horses and the riders, together with drone shots of the location. And an explainer clip would be produced showing some of the teaching and training aids used to help the disabled riders develop new skills. 

Volunteers (4 Interview Clips)

The interviews with RDA volunteers illustrated the sheer joy and sense of fulfilment that the volunteers gain from the time they spend at the RDA being part of a team.

Mel's Story

Kerry's Story

Adele's Story

Phil's Story

Riders, Carers & Parents (4 Interview Clips)

These interview clips reveal the happiness and sense of achievement that the disabled riders gain from their activities at the RDA and how much they look forward to being there.

Lucas's Story

Simon's Story

Anthea's Story

Cayden's Story

Sponsors (4 Interview Clips)

The key insight from the Interviews with sponsors was the satisfaction and sense of pride that they gain from contributing to improving the lives of the disabled riders.

Bill Gillespie, Kiama Masonic Lodge

Anthony O'Donnell - Dapto Leagues Club

Peter Stemp - Kiama Masonic Lodge

Tony Hutchinson - Tuning Par Excellence

Social Media Viral Video Campaign Plan

As a charity with limited resources, spending a lot of money on paid social-media advertising was not an option for the RDA. The Promo video, shown at the top of this page, was designed as a high-impact, attention grabbing piece suitable for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & other platforms.

The RDA Team had very little in-house experience of social media marketing. So this guide was produced to describe the key-steps.

The guide explored how to build a 'Seed Audience' and how to deliver the video clips to maximise the number of people who would see them.


This project came about whilst I was in Australia following a bereavement. I had very limited equipment with me; just a single camera, a travel tripod, a couple of lenses and a microphone..

But having been invited to the RDA to see what they offered and having grasped the extraordinary impact they had on children's lives it was a real privilege to be asked to help.

The project was completed with 3 filming days and approximately 5 days editing accomplished over a period of just a few weeks.

The footage was captured with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and edited using DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro. 

Robin Horsley


UEP House, Trodds Lane
Guildford, Surrey,


Phone: 07973 336648
Email - Click Here