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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 05/06/2015.

FEI President visits Sydney International Equestrian Centre

Ahead of his attendance at Equestrian Australia’s (EA) Sport Achievement Awards Night, FEI President Ingmar De Vos has visited the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC), venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mr De Vos previously visited the venue as Chef de Mission of the Belgian Equestrian Team at the Sydney Olympics. Although there have been changes since his last visit, the FEI President was pleased to see the venue being utilised almost 15 years on. “I have good memories of the Sydney Olympic equestrian venue and I like the Australian climate, the people and the horsemanship so it is good to be back.

“I am pleased to see the grounds and facilities of the Sydney International Equestrian Centre are so well maintained and continue to be used. Of course the grandstands are gone but I recognise everything else. It is in perfect shape and you can see that a lot of improvements have been undertaken. It is a great legacy for Australia.”

Mr De Vos said Australia should be proud of the preservation of its Olympic equestrian venue. “It is important for us to show to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that there is a need for a centre such as this. That it is still here and operating means infrastructure such as this is important for the future of our sport.”

With respect to the Olympic movement’s Agenda 2020, Mr De Vos believes equestrian is well positioned. “We are ticking a lot of boxes and sometimes even more than other sports. When you think of the gender equality, we are one of the main sports where men and women compete together in the same competition.

“Also the involvement of international federations in creating the Olympic event is important, and we are already doing this at the World Equestrian Games.

“This is not about the Olympics alone. This is a process that we are undertaking for all our games and championships. It is about the future of our sport in general, not just about the Olympic Games.

“There are still some things I believe we have to do, not specifically for the Olympic Games but for the future of the sport in general. In order to continue on the same pathway we need to make our sport more attractive and easier to understand for larger audiences. We want to attract new fans and to get people from non-equestrian backgrounds interested in the sport.

He also believes that National Federations have an important role to play. “It is up to National Federations to take responsibility for the development of the sport. “Australia has some wonderful athletes and achieved some fantastic results over the years. You are doing a very good job keeping people motivated and actively involved in the sport,” he said.

Mr De Vos will attend the Saddleworld Melbourne International Three Day Event on Friday ahead of Equestrian Australia’s Sport Achievement Awards Night.

PREVIOUS NEWS : 20/05/2015 FEI President to visit Australia


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