NCEA Unveils Strategic Plan
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association develops a multi-step plan to save the NCAA emerging sport of women's equestrian.
By Dr. Leah Holland Florentino, NCEA executive director | January 22, 2015
From the National Collegiate Equestrian Association
As you may know, several challenges emerged for college equestrian programs during this past fall season. Today, I want to provide you with the most current information about the National Collegiate Equestrian Association and the progress we have made over the past few months to support the coaches and student-athletes.
To bring everyone up to speed, in the fall the Committee on Women’s Athletics, a subcommittee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, made a recommendation that women's equestrian would no longer qualify as an emerging sport. Only a recommendation at this point, the CWA recommendation has not been heard by any other structure within the NCAA. Several levels of governance would need to review the recommendation before it could be implemented by the NCAA. The next scheduled NCAA meetings will be in April, at which point we should receive an update. We are cautiously optimistic.
In light of the challenges presented in the fall, the NCEA has been engaged in several focused endeavors, and has swiftly moved to accomplish the following:
1. In December, support was gained from NCEA athletic administrators at a meeting designed to discuss the political challenges;
2. The NCEA has reorganized into a more inclusive, proactive structure with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness
- An executive committee was formed to oversee the business side of the NCEA. This executive committee is comprised of elected officers from the board of eirectors, university administrators, and representatives from the United States Equestrian Federation and AQHA;
- An executive director was appointed to assist with the oversight of the association and support the work of the coaches;
- A Foundation Advisory Council has been created to plan for fund-raising and development, marketing, and outreach efforts. The FAC will include a liaison from each NCEA program.
3. Representatives from the NCEA executive committee met with the leadership of the national governing body, the United States Equestrian Federation. The discussion centered on the importance of establishing a working partnership between NCEA and USEF to identify and secure the key role of collegiate equestrian programs in the USEF Olympic Pipeline plan. Together, we are working to establish formalized benefits which may include opportunities to air competitions on the USEF network; public relation/media releases related to our working partnership with the USEF; and letters of support for the NCEA.
As executive director of NCEA, my focus is clearly defined to work with three critical groups over the next year:
1. The leadership of equestrian sport organizations to more fully connect with national efforts to promote equestrian activities at all levels;
2. The committed professionals at the institutions currently sponsoring collegiate equestrian teams, and those interested in starting new programs, to ensure that high quality participation opportunities exist for student-athletes; and
3. The strong coalition of stakeholders who have come forward to support the efforts to maintain collegiate equestrian programs across the county – an invaluable group of volunteers with critical expertise who will provide professional perspective and guidance as we move forward.
We are excited about this progress which has occurred in a relatively short period of time and look forward your support in the future. You can expect regular updates about NCEA efforts as we firmly believe in providing accurate information to all equestrian enthusiasts. I invite you to visit our website, www.collegiateequestrian.com, for frequent updates and happenings.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org – I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as together we work to advance collegiate equestrian programs through NCEA!