As Europe and the UK face the tightening of restrictions in response to the impact of Covid-19 Australia is gradually beginning to emerge from strict government regulations and has recently seen the return of FEI competition in both Eventing and Jumping. In addition Para classification has also been able to resume domestically with classification days being held in QLD and NSW within the last month, enabling new riders to enter the sport and start on their Para Dressage journey.
Over the past few months the EA High Performance Team has been working purposefully on the Program’s strategic plan that will carry us forward from Tokyo 2020 to Paris 2024. The detailed plan focuses on our performance drivers in line with the AIS requirements and outlines a clear, robust and comprehensive map to achieve our podium objectives at not only the Olympic and Paralympic Games but also at the World Equestrian Games in 2022. We are pleased to announce that this strategic plan has been approved for implementation by the High Performance Panel and the AIS and will be available for our stakeholders to view on the EA website shortly.
The complications that the global pandemic has imposed upon our sport means our High Performance Squad riders have had to remain flexible and resilient in the face of uncertainty. Many of our riders have had to change their individual performance plans on numerous occasions in order to continue to focus on the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games and to maximise their training and preparation opportunities. Our dedicated High Performance staff continue to remain available to our riders and are in consistent contact to ensure our athletes remain supported and informed throughout these challenging times.
In addition we have also continued advancing our overall High Performance Program engagement with a focus on utilising virtual resources. Whilst the delivery and orientation of the Program in 2020 has been reshaped due to the global pandemic the integrity and content remains robust, progressive and extensive as we face the unexpected challenges presented by the global pandemic.
Last week our High Performance Eventing NEXT Squad riders participated in their latest online workshop. The workshop was designed to provide our athletes with a detailed breakdown of the Program, the resources available to them and the ways in which they can engage with not only the Program but also their fellow Squad members across all levels. The EA High Performance Program, which is solely funded by the AIS, provides identified riders with the tools, support and resources to ensure they can continue to fulfil their podium potential and achieve their goal of representing Australia on the world stage.
We have also continued to review the logistical and operational impacts that Covid-19 has had on our Tokyo 2020 preparations and remain confident in the strength and resilience of our team, athletes and supporters as we look forward to the Games of the XXXII Olympiad next year. Many variables still remain at this stage and we continue to engage in regular communication with the FEI, Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia to ensure we are across all details and information that may concern our athletes as they prepare for the upcoming Games.
As always the health and safety of our people and horses remain our highest priority as we work together as a united high-performance community to navigate these unprecedented times.
We thank you all for your understanding and continued support and please feel free to contact the High Performance team directly if you have any questions or queries.
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia