DON’T WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY

OPINION PIECE

The governance of equestrian sports in Australia is long overdue for major reform. The sport has been in decline for some time with national membership numbers dwindling from 26,000 in 2010 to a mere 16,500 in 2018 (this 2018 number also includes interschools students not previously included in the 2010 count).

Since establishing Stop Bullying in Equestrian Sports (SBIES) I have been inundated with evidence of widespread bullying and harassment in our sport. Equestrians bravely shared their personal stories with me, and to be honest it was beginning to become overwhelming. Given Equestrian Australia’s (EA) resistance to tackling the toxic culture in our sport – I had truly given up on the prospect that anything could be done to help the SBIES supporters, other than listening to their stories. Continue reading “DON’T WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY”

HOW WILL THE NEW NATIONAL SPORTS PLAN IMPACT EQUESTRIAN SPORTS?

Last week, the federal Minister for Sport, The Hon Senator Bridget McKenzie, outlined the future of Australian sport when she launched the new National Sports Plan, Sport 2030 in Canberra.

With the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) financial contribution making up 45% of Equestrian Australia’s (EA) funding, the equestrian community should be asking ourselves if the changes detailed in the plan will have a significant impact on the health of our sport. Continue reading “HOW WILL THE NEW NATIONAL SPORTS PLAN IMPACT EQUESTRIAN SPORTS?”

REFORM OR BE REFORMED

Stop Bullying in Equestrian Sports (SBIES) was founded with the mission of providing much-needed support for equestrians who have been the victims of bullying and harassment.

What a ride it has been (excuse the pun) as countless equestrians have taken the SBIES ‘pledge’, participated in the SBIES survey and shared their painful stories.

As the movement evolved, we truly believed that the equestrian governing bodies would listen to the groundswell. The stories we had gathered were so shocking, and the statistics on bullying so alarming, that we were sure the peak sporting body, Equestrian Australia, would sit up and take action. They had an existing suite of Member Protection Policies to provide for the members’ safety and mental health, they just needed to ensure they were enforced. Continue reading “REFORM OR BE REFORMED”

‘ME TOO’ MEETS EQUESTRIAN SPORTS

OPINION | 9.07.2018

Just like the Harvey Weinstein-inspired #metoo movement, participants of Equestrian sports in Australia are bravely coming forward with their negative experiences and declaring it is time for change.

Prior to this, there were many good, smart people who fought like HELL in private, in an attempt to right wrongs and get reform across the line. Without their efforts, the current groundswell would not be possible. We say a heartfelt thank you.

When we started Stop Bullying In Equestrian Sports, it was to simply provide a ‘safe’ place for victims of bullying to come together, share their stories and try to turn a negative experience into something positive. Continue reading “‘ME TOO’ MEETS EQUESTRIAN SPORTS”

THE CASE FOR MEANINGFUL CHANGE

OPINION | 23.05.2018

I believe our sport is at a crossroads. If urgent reform is not achieved, the proud legacy of equestrian sports in this country is in jeopardy.

Equestrian sports have seen major institutional reforms in Canada and the UK and it is time for Australia to follow suit.

There is an urgent need to modernise the management of our sport and there is a strong case for meaningful change. Continue reading “THE CASE FOR MEANINGFUL CHANGE”

CALLING ALL EQUESTRIANS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED BULLYING

PRESS RELEASE -3.5.2018

Equestrian riders, officials and volunteers who have been impacted by failed member protection processes are being urged to contact Senator Rex Patrick and share their experiences.

Equestrian Australia is one of only five elite sporting bodies, heavily funded by the federal government that the South Australian Senator has put on notice to investigate bullying and failed member protection concerns.

The other governing bodies under scrutiny include Athletics Australia, Swimming Australia, Hockey Australia and Cycling Australia. Continue reading “CALLING ALL EQUESTRIANS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED BULLYING”

GIVING BACK TO THE COACHES

SBIES were delighted to be approached by equestrian apparel company, Willow Beast asking how they could give back to the SBIES community. Thanks, WILLOW BEAST .

In the spirit of giving back, SBIES and Willow Beast want to reward all the COACHES who have been helping us spread the anti-bullying message.

We want to know the best piece of advice your coach has ever given you? Willow Beast has kindly donated two of their gorgeous competition shirts below as prizes. Continue reading “GIVING BACK TO THE COACHES”