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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 21/09/2020.

Equestrian Australia High Performance Weekly Update – 21st September, 2020

As we draw closer to the postponed Games in 2021 our riders remain focussed on the road ahead as they prepare for the journey ‘Towards Tokyo’. This individual journey looks different for each of our athletes dependent on their location, performance plan and freedom of movement. We continue to work closely with each of our High Performance Squad athletes to ensure they remain supported, connected and receive the assistance they may require in these ever-changing times. 

We also continue to work with industry leaders to assist in developing the holistic skillset of our athletes, which has been achieved by utilising technology available to all of our riders. Since the onset of the global pandemic the High Performance Program has reshaped its learning platform and grown the interactive virtual component, successfully closing the distance between our riders, coaches, and staff. Last week both the Eventing NEXT Squad riders and the National Driving Squad athletes took part in digital workshops aimed at growing their experience and improving performance. 

The Eventing NEXT Squad riders’ workshop was hosted by Olympian Chris Burton who spoke to the riders about the importance of dressage training and discussed ways in which the riders can improve their dressage tests. Chris discussed the importance of correct and patient training at home in order to be able to produce a winning test in competition. He also spoke about considering how the horse looks at the training process and the significance of understanding your horses needs, perception and wellbeing.

The High Performance National Driving Squad members were invited to take part in a digital workshop with Performance Support Manager, Dr Alison Alcock, focusing on performance outcomes, attributes of the successful elite athlete and techniques that the Drivers can use to track and enhance their own competition performance. Dr Alcock’s interactive session with the group drew on her vast experience working across different sports and looked at the significance of structured training, dedication and competition preparation.

In addition to looking ahead to the future Games with anticipation we have also spent time reminiscing as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Sydney 2000 Games were monumental for Australian equestrian sport on many levels, including the history making Gold medal won by our Eventing Team. We have celebrated this milestone by sharing each day, exactly 20 years on, the moments created by our athletes as we relive the magic of the Games. We have had such an overwhelmingly joyful response from our athletes, officials, spectators and the wider equestrian community who have enjoyed sharing in the Australian Equestrian Team’s fond memories. We are excited to continue the journey down memory lane in the coming weeks as we continue with the remainder of the Olympic Games and begin the anniversary celebration of the Paralympic Games.

Behind the scenes the work to get our equestrian team to Tokyo 2020 continues and we remain engaged in productive conversation with the FEI, Tokyo Organising Committee, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia (PA) to ensure our team is prepared, equipped and able to perform in their pursuit of podium success. With less than one year to go until the postponed Games we remain dedicated to ensuring our riders focus, support and preparation is unwavering. The Nomination Criteria for Tokyo 2020 remains under review by the AOC and PA and we are hopeful these will be available shortly.

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.

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