The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is pleased to announce that Victoria Underwood has been appointed as the new Performance Director for the UK Sport National Lottery-funded equestrian World Class Programme.
Vikki re-joins the BEF after working as the Head of World Class Development between 2001 and 2009. Most recently she has operated as the Director of Athlete Performance Support for High Performance Sport New Zealand which leads the country’s high performance sports system, working in partnership with its national sporting organisations.
Vikki says; "I am delighted to accept this prominent position to orchestrate the equestrian high performance teams through to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and beyond to Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. The great success that Team GBR has had to date needs to be sustained and built upon to ensure that UK Sport continue their incredible support for our sport through future cycles."
Chief Executive of the BEF, Nick Fellows adds; “We are thrilled to welcome Vikki back to the BEF. Having worked in high performance sport for 18 years with a number of sports, including equestrianism, Vikki has a wealth of knowledge and a strong strategic mind-set which will aid the successful development and delivery of a performance-focussed World Class Programme. Her significant leadership experience and success in previous roles will make her a valuable addition to a high quality performance team as we continue on our journey to Tokyo and beyond.”
From 2009 to 2015 Vikki led the Performance Operations team at the English Institute for Sport for the East Midlands, delivering support to athletes’ from over 40 sports. She then joined Loughborough University where she headed up their Sport Science and Medicine for Performance Sport team, leading a complete reform of their performance services and establishing practitioner development pathways linked with National Governing Bodies for sport. Vikki also played important roles with the British Olympic Association and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, in and around London 2012.
As Performance Director, Vikki will lead and direct the BEF’s vision to nurture a winning environment and ensure that Great Britain maintains the most advanced performance programme in the world. Working in partnership with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, she will oversee the management of athletes and horses, while supporting their owners, and develop emerging talent through identifiable pathways to ensure a rich pipeline for the future.
Vikki will take up her post on 24 January 2019 and will be working with a team of world-leading coaches, practitioners and support staff who will continue their work towards making Great Britain the leading equestrian nation on and off the field of play.