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World Class Performance holds "Road to Athens - The Final Push Workshop".

The British Equestrian Federation held "The Road to Athens - the Final Push" Workshop at Hartpury College last week. All the Olympic long listed riders, their grooms and the horse owners were invited to attend the two day workshop in Gloucestershire.

The Workshop provided the riders with personal sessions in their chosen areas of Human Sports Science and Medicine, including Physical Preparation, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Nutrition and an opportunity to visit the Environmental Chamber at The University of Gloucestershire where the riders were able to witness the likely climate conditions they can expect in Athens. The Workshop also provided the BEF with a valuable opportunity to carry out the compulsory BOA Medical Assessment of all potential Olympic Athletes.

BEF British Equestrian Team sponsors Spillers and NAF were on hand to provide equine nutritional advice to the riders and their grooms. The Master Tailor from the Household Calvary Mounted Regiment also attended to measure all the riders for the clothing that will be provided to the team's including Competition Jackets and Tailcoats from RH Mears Ltd.

Owners and Grooms attended separate presentations which provided them with important information regarding the Olympic Games and the travel arrangements that are being made by the BEF. The grooms were also provided with data on how the horses reacted to competing at the Athens Test Event last August which was collected by John McEwen (BEF Director of Sports Science and Medicine), Jenny Hall (British Eventing Team Vet), and Rachel Williams (Research Co-ordinator at Hartpury College). With the research findings, the grooms now have valuable information about the effects the climate will have on the horses that attend the Olympics.

The first day of the workshop concluded with presentations that were given by Will Connell (BEF Performance Director), who gave the group an insight into the preparation currently being undertaken by BEF in the run up to the Olympic Games. Mark England (Director of Games Services) from the British Olympic Association (BOA) gave a unique insight into the facilities out in Athens including the Olympic Village and the Equestrian facilities.

Paul Davies from the British Paralympic Association spoke to the Paralympic riders regarding the arrangements that are being made for the Paralympic Games in Athens. David Tillotson of the English Institute of Sport spoke about the support services that are increasingly available to the World Class Performance riders through EIS. The final speaker of the day was Bill Beswick, Assistant Manager of Middlesbrough Football Club, and former Sports Psychologist to the Manchester United Football team, who provided a motivational presentation on his "Keep on Winning" and "Empowering Winner's" psychology theories.

BEF Chief Executive; Andrew Finding commented "The Workshop was a great success and I hope it proves to be the launch pad for unparalleled success in Athens."


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