First Step in an FEI Development Audit
FEI Tutor Jean-Philippe Camboulives during a Level 1 course for coaches in Venezuela
In order to ensure sustainable development and worldwide access to horsesport, the FEI Development Department recently conducted an in-depth survey named “Situation Analysis in Developing National Federations” as a first step in a global project entitled “Situation Analysis and Strategy for the Worldwide Development of Horse Sport”.
The survey involved an audit relating to the conditions and situation of horsesport in various countries and was sent out to 108 National Federations, of which 89 returned a completed questionnaire. The NFs included in this study were chosen according to the fact that they were all benefiting from development aids. Western European, North American and Australia/New Zealand NFs were not part of the study.
On the basis of the data gathered, comprehensive quantitative analysis was carried out. The findings are considered still to be a first draft as there are still many elements which need to be re-defined and clarified. Once the data analysis has met its targets, a qualitative approach will follow.
Three broad areas were covered in the survey, namely:
ORGANISATION OF THE SPORT
For the purposes of this analysis, the survey evaluated the following key indicators: facilities, equipment, calendar of national and international events, number of officials (national & FEI), numbers of competitors per category/discipline/level and the number of competitions per category and discipline.
As expected, many findings reflected the differences in population size, whereby, larger populations directly influenced the quantitative figures, resulting in a larger number of equestrian facilities, officials or competitors. However, it is interesting to note that variation exists not just between the different Regional Groups, but also within the Groups, often due to population disparities, but also due to the economic growth and the stage of development of equestrian sport.
ORGANISATION OF EDUCATION (coaches and technicians)
In all fields and domains, education is an indicator of future evolution; the lack of it can lead to a decline whereas a comprehensive educational network will ensure a renewal of the national resources and will encourage the spread of information and activity.
In this case, the National Federations were asked to identify whether an educational system for coaches was in place. Ideally, this consists of a structure allowing coaches to obtain valid certification after having followed specific courses. These courses present a variety of benefits and ensure that a steady flow of qualified coaches and instructors are available at the national level and therefore have a regenerating effect leading to the growth of the sport in both numbers and education.
The results were very revealing showing that 51% of the National Federations assessed had an educational system in place.
ORGANISATION OF NF MANAGEMENT
The extent of NF management was evaluated according to the following criteria: number of affiliated clubs, registration of riders, structure, planning, permanent secretariat and technical committees.
The club system was chosen to represent the basic structure for developing NFs as clubs are essential for the development of equestrian sports since they provide the riders with facilities as well as a forum where competitors and trainers meet and exchange ideas.
In many ways, clubs are the driving force as far as development of organised sports is concerned. The survey revealed that as far as affiliated clubs are concerned, the findings varied from 0 to 382 clubs affiliated to a National Federation. Group I (Southern Europe) presented the highest average with 192 affiliated clubs per NF, while Group IX (Africa Sub-Sahara) has an average of two clubs per NF.
Registration of riders and permanent secretariat (facilities & staff) also provided some insight into the different conditions and possibilities. An important factor in assessing the future development of NFs is whether a strategy for the development of equestrian sport on the short-, mid- and long-term basis is in place. The findings indicated that overall, 64% of NFs have a strategy in place. Both Groups I and V (Central America, Northern Part of South America) presented the highest response, 71% and 75% respectively.
It is fair to say that development occurs at different rhythms, in different ways and for different reasons. Undertaking a comprehensive audit of the level and extent of development in the National Equestrian Federations is the first and crucial step in identifying and implementing effective measures to secure the growth of horsesport and opportunities world wide. Indeed, the analysis phase is a necessary and revealing one, and can be instrumental when devising tailor made situations for the different regions and National Federations.
So far, the findings have been instrumental in drawing certain conclusions and will lead us back to the drawing board again to iron out the creases and re-formulate certain survey questions so that we are met with accurate and unambiguous responses so as to map out the trends and devise future strategies for development.
We will keep you posted on all new developments.
To learn more about the FEI’s development activities, please check the DEVELOPMENT section on the FEI website.