Sport Structures were contracted by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to investigate solutions to achieve their primary outcome of all equestrian coaches having the confidence and competence to support disabled participants within their scope of practice. This involved working with 5 of their Member Bodies (MBs) to ensure solutions were suited to all where possible.
The project kicked off with phase 1 which involved consultation with identified BEF Member Bodies and the coaching workforce. We completed a consultation event with MBs to understand what support was currently available and their understanding of what was needed. This then lead to a survey of the coaching workforce across all MBs to ascertain their confidence and training needs.
The results of phase 1 identified a clear need for generic disability training to increase the confidence of coaches working with disabled riders, especially around communication and awareness of adaptations required for equestrian specifically.
Phase 2 to sought to create and develop a clear learning plan to cover the key knowledge gaps: best practice for inclusive coaching, appropriate language and terminology and creating safe environments. This involved formation of generic content, identification of equestrian examples and working with Activity Alliance and UK Coaching and their Inclusive Activity Programme. We worked with the member bodies to ensure their different and specific needs were accommodated. This involved developing the workshop so it was suitable for those working with participation groups as well as those working with high performance Para riders. Each of the sections of content were then blended together to form a 6 hour workshop.
Once the learning plan, resources and tutor notes were finalised, we worked with BEF and their MBs on final phase, phase 3. This involved recruiting a suitable workforce to deliver the training and providing a suitable orientation to make sure tutors were confident in their delivery. The tutor orientation session was hosted in partnership with Sport Structures, UK Coaching and the Activity Alliance.
The workshop was welcomed by all MBs involved in the consultation and was titled the Disability Inclusive Coaching Workshop. This will now be offered to all coaches across a wide variety of disciplines to improve confidence and competence of coaches working with disabled riders.