The FEI announced details of a five-year Global Education Programme for Eventing Officials today. The CHF 1 million project, which will support the regular FEI Educational and Certification system for Eventing Officials at all levels, is funded by the FEI.
The mission of the Education Programme is to improve and align safety standards and support of Eventing Officials in their work worldwide. The Programme will expand and raise the quality and experience of Eventing Officials through education and training, with a specific focus on developing and less experienced countries.
The Programme also aims to promote the sport of Eventing, create new sport opportunities and improve cooperation and communication between the main participants in the sport, including National Federations, Organising Committees, Officials and Athletes.
As part of Eventing’s strategic plan of Discipline Development through Education in the Next Decade, the Programme is designed to make a significant contribution to the education of officials world-wide within the first five-year period. The project was run as a pilot scheme in 2009 but is now fully operational and will run through to the end of 2013. At the end of the five-year term, education of Eventing Officials will continue under the FEI’s regular programmes.
The Global Education Programme is based on five pillars:
1. Shadow Officiating (Eventing Judges & Technical Delegates)
2. Exchange of Eventing Officials (Eventing Judges & Technical Delegates)
3. Mentoring Scheme (Eventing Judges & Technical Delegates)
4. An annual 4-5 day workshop specifically for Course Designers, run in conjunction with a multi-level international competition
5. Selected participants travel abroad to officiate at International Events as part of the FEI Clean Sport Campaign’s education programme for Stewards. Preference may be given to fixtures hosting several equestrian disciplines, including Jumping and Dressage, to allow participants to acquire broader officiating experience. Representatives from 13 National Federations (NFs) – Belarus, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand and USA – participated in the 2009 pilot programme. A total of 78 applications from 22 NFs have been received for the 2010 scheme, with the first candidates due to officiate at the Red Hills Horse Trials, Tallahassee, USA, in March.
Giuseppe della Chiesa, Chairman of the Eventing Committee, commented: “This is an exciting time for Eventing. We launched the Eventing Risk Management Strategy and Action Plan at a very successful meeting of National Safety Officers in Sweden last weekend, and now we are announcing the Global Education Programme for Eventing Officials. The sport is on an upward curve in terms of numbers competing and our forecast for 2010 shows close to 100 new fixtures worldwide. These levels of growth are very encouraging, but risk management and education have to remain our number one priorities.”
FEI Secretary General Alex McLin said: “Education covers not just the athlete, but also welfare, technical organization and the training of the support network, such as judges, officials and course designers. The Global Education Programme for Eventing Officials is a valuable education initiative that will play a major role in expanding and raising the quality and experience of Eventing Officials worldwide.”
In a further educational initiative, the FEI is also co-funding a two-year development programme in Central and South America, following a successful pilot year in 2009. Under the scheme, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will continue to supply coaches from the USA and Canada to FEI regional Groups IV and V for 2010 and 2011 with the aim of increasing participation in regional Games in the area. Immediate goals include the 2010 Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico and the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Riders from Barbados, Bermuda, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Trinidad have already benefited from training with some of the top riders from the US and Canada. Other countries, including FEI regional Group VI, have expressed interest in the programme. The venture is funded jointly by the FEI and Las Vegas Events, which matched the FEI’s programme budget as part of its bid for the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final for Dressage and Show Jumping.