Equestrian Canada (EC) would like to thank the delegates, speakers and supporters who helped to make the first-ever EC Convention held at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF) in Toronto, ON an inspirational and valuable weekend.
The Convention featured a variety of educational, networking and social events from Nov. 1-3 that provided up-close and personal experiences with elite equestrian athletes and industry experts, and allowed Canadian equestrians to get engaged with vital new EC programs and initiatives.
Couldn’t make it in person? Keep reading for top takeaways and download presentations from key sessions.
EC Strategic Initiatives Plan Report Card
The 2019 EC Convention kicked off on Nov.1 with a Welcome Social, which hosted a special presentation from EC President, Meg Krueger. Delegates were provided an exclusive first look at the EC Strategic Initiatives Plan 2019 Report Card, created based on the results of an extensive survey conducted in July 2019 regarding the Plan.
“The purpose of creating the Strategic Initiatives Plan is to actively shape the future of our sport and industry and not just wait for it to happen,” said Krueger in her opening remarks. Through the Plan and the Report Card, we are investigating and seeking answers to the questions, ‘How can we better plan for the future? How can we better operate today? What do we want our equestrian landscape to look like in five years?’”
The Safe Sport session provided an in-depth look at the international Safe Sport movement to end abuse and misconduct in sport, and the steps being taken at the federal government level and by EC to foster a safe environment for all sport participants.
EC Complaint Manager, Brian Ward of W&W Dispute Resolution spoke about the hard truth of today’s sport environment, stating, “If we do not take action and implement safe sport protocols, sport will die. Parents won’t put their children in a sport if they can’t feel confident they will be in a safe environment.”
He continued, “It’s not enough to put processes in place. There is an education element to all of this. We have to help people understand what ‘the wrong things’ are. We have to educate people on two things; the level of conduct expected, and the importance of reporting misconduct. That’s how we will make a difference.”
Further details on EC’s Coach Licensing Program were unveiled during Convention, highlighting the vision of every equestrian and instructor becoming licensed and certified by 2025 to meet societal expectations of providing a respectful, safe and inclusive experience for current and future equestrian participants.
More information, including Coach Licence types, benefits, costs and requirements were also launched on the EC website at equestrian.ca/programs-services/licences/coach-licences.
To conclude the session, delegates were asked to actively participate in a live Q&A, with each table taking time to discuss and present their top question regarding the Coach Licensing Program. All questions were also submitted to EC at the end of the session, and will be reviewed and responded to, plus used to help further develop the online FAQs.
The Future of Equestrian Competition in Canada
Key findings of Phase 1 of the EC Competition and Structural Alignment Committee (CSAC) project were outlined, showcasing the extensive data mining that has provided the opportunity to examine equestrian sport in Canada in a whole new light.
The end goal of Phase 1 of the Competition and Structural Alignment project was to answer the question, ‘Does the current competition pathway provide a coherent flow and appropriate progression from stage-to-stage?’ However, EC High Performance Manager and CSAC Project Manager, Anna Johnson spoke to how the collection of competition data has had additional unexpected, but remarkable outcomes.
“This approach to data collection, visualization and analysis was a first in Canadian equestrian sport history, and has provided EC with the building blocks for regular competition and program design review. The investment in data visualization and analysis will significantly support other areas of the organization’s business development initiatives, increase the ability to report to funders and compellingly engage with partners.”
Want more convention? Download these additional presentations:
- Put Social Media to Work for You!
- Yearly Training Plans: Prepare for Your Best Show Season Yet
- Move to Improve: Physical Literacy for Equestrians
- Grow Your Program with Rookie Riders
- Canadian Equine Identification Program Development
“I want to thank everyone for their passion, engagement and participation in Convention,” said EC Interim CEO, Yves Hamelin in his closing remarks. “There is alignment on the desire to change and we need to keep the momentum going. What I see from everyone is that there is a commitment to bold results and bold progress and that’s what the past few days here have represented.”
EC thanks all delegates for their participation and engagement, and welcomes all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the 2019 EC Convention, equestrian.ca/events-results/convention. And be sure to watch EC’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more coverage.