British Equestrian launches bursary to grow and support coaching workforce
13th February 2023
British Equestrian is pleased to launch its new coach bursary scheme, designed to help people who would like to take the first step in their coaching career or further develop their existing coaching skills, but who might be held back by the cost of gaining qualifications.
Funded by Sport England, the bursary scheme is intended to support staff and volunteers at riding centres to gain qualifications, thereby helping to grow the opportunities for people to enjoy riding and equestrian sport. This comes in part as a response to some of the challenges highlighted in British Equestrian’s Health of Riding Centres survey, which took place in the early part of last year. The survey showed that many riding centres in the UK are struggling to meet the demand for participation, with one of the key barriers to increasing capacity being a shortage of qualified staff and volunteers.
The bursary will also support coaches from underrepresented populations or protected characteristics – in particular, those from lower socio-economic or ethnically diverse communities coaches with a disability –or those who work with participants from these same groups.
Applicants can apply for up to fifty percent of the course and/or assessment costs for a number of different coaching qualifications that are offered by British Equestrian’s member bodies. Qualifications range from general riding qualifications through to those that are specific for some of the Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines within the equestrian sporting sector.
“I’m thrilled that British Equestrian is able to offer a bursary to support coaches to start working through their coaching qualifications,” said Participation Officer David Padgen, who has been part of developing the bursary scheme. “We’d like to thank our member bodies for their assistance in shaping it – together, we hope the scheme and the learning we take from it will help us address the capacity challenges riding schools are facing, while bringing new people and new audiences into our industry, both as coaches and participants.”