The main focus of the FEI Sports Forum 2018 will be on Youth. Young athletes from around the world will be invited to Lausanne to share their views on challenges within the sport such as transitioning into high-level professional sport, age categories, competition formats and sport presentation among others. It is the first time in Sports Forum history that the multifaceted subject of youth will be tackled in such an-in-depth manner.

Another first will be a session dedicated to athlete welfare in which the latest findings regarding concussion and return-to-play policy; medication and recreational drugs; and harassment and abuse prevention will be discussed with medical experts.

Risk management in Eventing; the future of the Youth Olympic Games; preparations for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, including climate information; an update from the Working Group on FEI Officials; and the findings of the Dressage Judging Working Group will also be on the Forum agenda.

We are regularly updating information and adding additional content to the FEI Sports Forum platform and will shortly be adding the names of all the panellists and moderators as well as accompanying biographies for key speakers and supporting documents for each of the sessions when/where relevant. Information regarding the live stream will also be provided in due course.

Day 1 - 26 March 2018

Youth Olympic Games 2018 AND FUTURE
Session 1, 09:30-10:00

The Youth Olympic Games aim to bring together talented young athletes aged 15 to 18 from around the world. Held every four years, the first edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010, which included equestrian sport (Jumping) on the programme, featured over 3,500 athletes and was held over a 12-day period. The next Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held in Buenos Aires in October 2018.

What makes the Youth Olympic Games so unique is the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) which runs alongside the sports fixtures and is based around the following five themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles. These are valuable tools for the athletes of tomorrow and are very much an integral part of the Youth Olympic Games model.

In this session, IOC experts will present plans for the future of the Youth Olympic Games. A discussion with the NFs will follow.

Session 2, 10:00-15:30

Youth will be the focal point of the FEI Sports Forum 2018 with most of day 1 dedicated to the subject. Successful young athletes from around the world aged between 18 to 25 and representing all the FEI disciplines will be leading this session with discussions on a number of topics which affect their careers including the relevance of age categories, competition formats, transition between categories, and sport presentation and communications.

Case studies from other National Federations and sports will also be part of the session with the firm intention of fostering debate and dialogue with the panel and the delegates around youth and the next generation of athletes. The aim of this large session is to not only identify the challenges but to also propose and present solutions so that there are building blocks to the world stage with the right tools and processes in place in order to succeed in equestrian sport.

Session 3, 16:00-17:30

Ensuring athlete welfare and providing the necessary framework for athletes to develop and compete in a safe environment is paramount for all sports today. The FEI is committed to setting the highest standards for equestrian and implementing the measures and safety nets required to ensure the health and wellbeing of athletes is always the first priority. This session will be delving into three core elements of athlete welfare:

  1. Concussion & Return to play policy
    We will review the latest findings on concussion research from world renowned experts and take a look at new return-to-play policies put in place by some National Federations. In addition, an International Sport Federation will also present how they are dealing with concussion.

  1. Medication & Recreational drugs
    Experts will expand on the use of recreational drugs and medication in our sport. When it comes to medication, FEI athletes need to be familiar with protocols in place for using medication in and out competition and to understand why more medication is not always better. As far as recreational drugs are concerned, such as cocaine, they are not only a health issue for athletes but also a serious safety hazard. We will share guidelines for parents and entourage.

  1. Harassment & Abuse  (IOC Toolkit)
    Harassment and abuse are a major concern in today’s sport landscape. A practical harassment and abuse prevention kit, developed by the IOC, will be introduced to the National Federations. Medical experts, FEI staff members, and IOC representatives will be on the panel of this session.

Day 2 - 27 March 2018

Session 4, 09:00-10:30

Day 2 of the FEI Sports Forum 2018 will begin with a focus on risk management in Eventing. An update on efforts made by the FEI in this area will be presented along with trends from the latest Eventing Statistics Report. A discussion on the way forward and on the views and actions undertaken by the NFs will follow.

Session 5, 11:00 - 12:30

Since the Working Group on FEI Officials began its work two years ago, 13  recommendations regarding the improvement of the appointment, education, and evaluation of FEI Officials have been developed. A progress report, including possible changes to the FEI Rules alongside a roll out plan will close the second day’s morning session.

Session 6, 13:30 - 15:30

The Organising Committee will present an update on preparations along with practical information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, which will take place in Tryon, NC (USA) in September. The session will also be an opportunity for the NFs to ask questions and give an indication as to the more detailed information they would like to see addressed at the planned Chef de Mission meeting taking place at Tryon during the Eventing and Vaulting Test Event in April.

Hot or hot and humid environmental conditions can pose a serious risk to the health and performance of both human and equine athletes unless properly handled. A scientist with more than 25 years of experience in physiology and biochemistry, and equine veterinarian will present ways to prepare and manage our athletes competing in such challenging environments.

Followed by wrap up of Day 2
Session 7, 16:00 - 17:30

The last session will conclude with a presentation on the findings of the Dressage Judges Working Group. The Group has tasked a sub-group to come up with a proposal of Code of Points for a determined number of movements of the Grand Prix Test. This Code of Points addresses many aspects of the Dressage Judging and contributes to ensuring more clarity, fairness and openness in the system.

During the Sports Forum session, the Dressage Judging Working Group will present this proposed Code of Point method and will explain the way forward. A proposed timeline for implementation will also be outlined.

source: FEI website