British Equestrian welcomes new cohort of young athletes to Podium Potential Pathway programme
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British Equestrian is pleased to welcome a new cohort of athletes to the Podium Potential Pathway level of its World Class Programme for 2023–2025.
The aim of the Podium Potential Pathway is to identify, support and develop younger athletes who demonstrate the capability to be part of a senior championship team in the future. Funded by UK Sport and Sport England, the programme provides selected athletes with support and education designed to further develop the performance foundation skills required for them to take the next step towards the podium. Athletes are selected onto the programme for a two-year cycle and can remain on the programme, subject to re-selection, for a maximum of four years.
On Monday 24 April, selected athletes were invited to an induction day at British Equestrian’s head office at Abbey Park near Kenilworth. The day provided them with more information about what the programme can offer them in terms of support and an opportunity to meet members of the World Class Programme staff, including their discipline coach mentors. They were also issued with their programme kit from British Equestrian team suppliers Toggi.
The keynote speaker of the day was Jesse Dufton, member of the GB Paraclimbing team and star of the internationally acclaimed documentary Climbing Blind. When not working in the clean energy sector, Jesse spends his spare time free-climbing some of the most challenging rockfaces in the world – a feat made even more impressive due to his lack of sight. Jesse’s inspiring talk touched on managing the mental demands of high performance, not letting adversity stop you from doing what you enjoy, and how even the narrowest of handholds brings you closer towards achieving your goal.
Following the event, David Hamer, Head of Performance Pathways at British Equestrian, commented: “The athletes joining the programme really impressed us during the selection process. The standard year on year continues to improve. We encourage this new intake to spend the next two years taking advantage of all the resource and expertise that are now available to them through the World Class Programme, so they can maximise their potential and improve their performances. We will also help them to develop a career in sport and hopefully, in the near future, see them progress to the next level in British Equestrian’s structured performance pathway and ride on the senior championship team.”
Podium Potential Pathway athletes have access to top equestrian sport specialists and coaches during their time on the programme. Technical skills and knowledge are backed up by an elite sport science team, who deliver support in the areas of biomechanics, human and equine physiotherapy, sport psychology, strength and conditioning, human and equine nutrition, vet and farrier support, and saddler fitting advice. Athletes also receive guidance on managing themselves and their careers, as well as their finances.
Dressage rider Bridget Tate said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been selected onto the Podium Potential Pathway – I can’t wait to be working with some of the top professionals in the UK on this programme. The areas that are definitely going to help me are the competition planning and being able to have a top farrier, physio and vet look at my horse and advise me about what’s going on and how I can improve their performance.”
Para dressage rider Fiona Maynard said: “Having the expertise and team around me is going to be really helpful. I think that working with all the professionals is going to really help me to improve and, hopefully, win some medals. Today has been really inspiring and I can’t wait to get going – I’m excited for the next two years.”
The athletes joining Podium Potential Pathway are:
- Caitlin Burgess
- Maddy Frewin
- Ruth Hole
- Jessica McConkey
- Bridget Tate
- Gabriella Blake
- Jemima Green
- Fiona Maynard
- Katie Radzik