Forty-eight athletes gathered last Friday (23 October) for their induction onto the BEF Excel Talent Programme, as the 2015/2017 cycle gets underway.
Lead Co-ordinator for the Programme, David Hamer, kicked off the day with the first session of the morning introducing the Programme’s format and structure as well as taking new members through the core BEF Talent Team. Sarah Armstrong, part of the World Class Programme, followed and provided facts and guidance on anti-doping and medication in equestrian sport.
The Programme riders were joined by guest speakers Simon Wergan, Head of Talent Development at Sport England and inspirational speaker Jim Lawless. Simon focussed on maximising potential and delivering top performances through controlling the variables, closing the session with; “If something is within your control, or within your influence and you want to be as good an athlete as you can be, why would you not choose to control it.”
The afternoon session welcomed keynote speaker Jim Lawless to the floor. Jim, who became a jockey in just 12 months, is an internationally renowned speaker and has inspired audiences globally with his book Taming Tigers, and successful change programmes.
Commenting on the day David Hamer said; “Talent is a key element to any elite athlete, but to achieve the ultimate goal of winning an Olympic or Paralympic medal requires an athlete to develop their ability, which is gained from a high level of commitment. This programmes offers focus and support to develop their ability and maximise talent.”
Supported by Sport England, the BEF Excel Talent Programme seeks to identify, support and develop riders and horses that demonstrate potential in the equestrian Olympic (dressage, eventing and showjumping) and Paralympic (para-dressage) disciplines. The Programme has been developed to extend the rider talent pathway below the UK Sport funded World Class Programme and to support riders to achieve their potential.