Equestrian Young Leaders Europe project gets underway

04. Nov 2022 / Category: News

The Equestrian Young Leaders Europe (EYLE) project is now underway following an introductory meeting held last week in Belgium. The project has been developed by the EEF, with funding from the European Commission Eramus+, to promote the social development of young people through the use of the horse.


The meeting was led by Teodore Sheytanov and Quentin Simonet from the EEF and brought together representatives from the three project countries, Dorottya Strobl and Ester Kovacs (HUN), Tine Skoftedalen Fossing (NOR) and Velyana Zhelyazova (BUL) alongside the two knowledge sharing countries Hanna Danewid (SWE) and Fenna Westerduin (NED). Karin Hedinger was also present from the Open University and will provide monitoring and evaluation support to track the success of the project


The meeting started with presentations from the Swedish and Dutch federations, both of whom have existing young leader education programmes on which the EYLE project has been built. The well-established programmes clearly bridge personal development with equestrian sport and both nations have strong track records of developing the skills of young people. Importantly, both countries touched on the need to adapt the programmes for each individual country's needs, depending on the existing infrastructure and touchpoints that young people currently have with horses. These learnings will allow the group to build a programme suitable for the three pilot nations, and ultimately launch across Europe for all NFs to benefit from.


Karin Hedinger from the Open University presented some of the existing research that they are involved in that shows the strength of animals in human social development and outlined their role in evaluating the EYLE project moving forward. A clear plan for this research will be developed, based on specific research questions to allow the effects of the project to be tracked from the outset.


From the meeting, the initial 12-month plan for the project was outlined and agreed. The focus now will be to create the work and communication plan, due by the end of the year, for approval by the EYLE Steering Group. After this, the educational materials and e-learning platforms will be developed for the three project countries to build towards an expected implementation date at the end of 2023.