Alecia’s path to success

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
John Auld and Alecia Maksimovic.
Camera IconJohn Auld and Alecia Maksimovic. Credit: Chloe Fraser

HorsePower Peel Group volunteers are hoping a new brick pathway from the carpark to the facility’s mounting ramp will make the journey a little easier for a young rider who struggles to navigate her wheelchair across uneven farm-terrain.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, 10-year-old Alecia Maksimovic has limited control of her limbs and is wheelchair-bound.

She also suffers from PTSD and anxiety.

In April, Alecia geared up for her first horse ride with Peel Horsepower at its new location at Mead Farm.

Volunteer John Auld said he had watched Alecia grapple through the sand and weeds before her lessons each week, and wanted to do something to help.

“I thought, she can’t be doing that,” he said. “So we decided to pave her a pathway and name it Alecia’s Way.”

HorsePower Peel volunteer John Auld with Alecia Maksimovic and president Ali Thomas.
Camera IconHorsePower Peel volunteer John Auld with Alecia Maksimovic and president Ali Thomas. Credit: Chloe Fraser

The path was made using recycled pavers, which were removed from the Rockingham Foreshore during the City’s revitalisation project and distributed to Peel Horsepower via a contactor.

Alecia’s mother Allana said while her daughter was “rather apprehensive” at first, she soon fell in love with the horses.

“Being with the horses has really helped her confidence,” Ms Maksimovic said.

“She’s learnt to speak for herself — because when she’s out there (on the horse) she has to communicate with the coach — I can’t speak for her. “It’s also helped reduce her tantrums and acts as a bit of physio, without actually being physio.

“She enjoys the games played on horseback and the interaction with the volunteers. . . she was thrilled to see her name on the walkway sign.”

Fiona Birtles, Alecia Maksimovic and Jenny Wynn-Taylor.
Camera IconFiona Birtles, Alecia Maksimovic and Jenny Wynn-Taylor. Credit: Chloe Fraser

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails