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Friends vow to carry on Amanda’s legacy

By Fiona Reid
Friends vow to carry on Amanda’s legacy

AN ‘INSPIRING’ sports coach who encouraged less able people to push through their boundaries has died.

Amanda Saville, founder of the Chariots of Fire carriage driving centre at Boreland, passed away on Saturday after a three-year battle with cancer.

But her family and friends have pledged to carry on with her legacy and the current Chariots team will continue. Close friend Liza Pern said: “We will miss her inspirational personality, her huge smile and all the knowledge and encouragement she gave us.

“We intend to maintain her legacy and the existing team will continue to run it as she would wish. “We will continue her legacy and push boundaries in her memory.”

Amanda started Chariots of Fire in 1995 as a charity to teach carriage driving to youngsters, especially those with special needs.

Liza said: “She originally started carriage driving about 30 years ago with her famous little Dartmoor x Shetland pony, Mr Pie, who travelled around the show circuit with her when she had her own trade stand selling giftware.

“Mr Pie got bored very easily so she started teaching him tricks and set up Chariots of Fire in 1995.

It went from there to become an arena display that involved up to eight ponies, driving cow, driving sheep, donkey and fire stunts.”

In Amanda’s 21 years at the helm she could boast a host of achievements, both personal and as a coach.

Liza said: “I think Amanda would like to be remembered by her own achievements in the sport of carriage driving, but mostly through the achievements with disabled drivers.

“She had the first ever blind boy to compete in national competition and numerous young people with disabilities to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.”

She added: “Her catchphrases were ‘pushing boundaries’ and ‘wheels to freedom’ — she always pushed boundaries, refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer and considered that there was no such word as ‘can’t’.”

An appeal, in the form of a localgiving donation website, has been set up in memory of Amanda’s professional achievements and has already attracted 180 donations, totalling £5000.

The money will be used to continue her work empowering disabled people. Amanda is survived by her husband, John Nisbet and sister Claire and a celebration of her life will be held at Dryfesdale Church, Lockerbie, on Tuesday at 11 am.

Before she passed away, Amanda requested that in lieu of flowers donations should be made to the charity Sports Driving Unlimited. She also wanted the service to be a celebration and upbeat so people are asked to dress accordingly.

■ Anyone wishing to donate to the localgiving appeal can do so by visiting the local giving page



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