Cayman to host equestrian coaching course

| 10/06/2015
Cayman News Service

Cayman equestrian coaches  (L to R) Michelle Boucher, Tracey Surrey, Regina Nowak, Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio and Mary Alberga

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation will host its first-ever international-level training course, for nine coaches from across the Caribbean. The FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) Level 2 course, from 20-25 June, will teach how to coach riders to 1.3m in jumping and to a medium/advanced level in dressage.

The FEI is the global equestrian governing body. A tutor from the Dominican Republic will come in to teach the coaches, who will include members of the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) — Mary Alberga, owner and operator of the Equestrian Centre and her manager, Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio; Regina Nowak; and Michelle Boucher.

Meanwhile, three CIEF members have just returned from a regional FEI Level 1 coaching course in Trinidad and Tobago, whose equestrian association ran the programme with the FEI. In all, 15 coaches from Cayman, Trinidad and Jamaica took part.

Over four days, participants reviewed teaching methods for coaching riders at preliminary and elementary dressage levels and up to 1.15m in the discipline of jumping. The course included classroom-based theory mixed with practical outdoor sessions coaching riders and their horses.

Boucher, who was one of three Cayman participants, said that the FEI system “equips coaches with world-standard techniques to not only develop the rider and horse’s physical skills but also their mental fitness to progress them towards their goals and prepare them for international competition.

“It was very exciting and rewarding to be a part of the Level 1 coach-training programme in Trinidad…and to be working together with our Caribbean partners in developing expertise in equestrian sport in our region.”

Nowak added, “The course was really great. It was a very intense, challenging four days. The instructor was so good I could easily have done a longer course.   The people were so welcoming, warm, friendly and organised.”

Tracey Surrey, owner and operator of Cayman Riding School, already has her British Horse Society AI qualification but took advantage of the FEI course to refresh and update her coaching skills. “I am a firm believer that coaches should never stop learning and should take every opportunity to brush up on, and refresh their coaching skills,” she said.

“Spending time and money on educating local coaches means that the skills remain here to benefit local riders for many years to come. We can also pass on what we have learnt to developing riders who may have an interest in being the coaches of the future.”


Category: Equestrian, Sports

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