Interview with Sport Director Laurent Cellier

Laurent Cellier, the Sports Director of the Normandy 2014 Organising Committee, highlights what's been done this year, and what's ahead of us in 2013.

Interview with Sport Director Laurent Cellier

1/ Having been in his role for a year (Laurent Cellier became the OC’s sports director on 1 January 2012) How would you sum up this first year of activity? 

When it comes to this first year at the head of the sports management team, I have to say that everything has worked out very well. We now have a fully operational team of professionals. Our eight highly-motivated discipline managers have taken the reins of their respective areas of responsibility and we have a larger back-up team. (N.B. new arrivals such as Elodie Navet in competition management, Pauline Laidi in services to delegations along with Anne Le Lannic, the deputy sports director). We needed a structured team for taking 2012’s major projects on board e.g. for selecting service providers for competition footings, determining maps for competition areas and scheduling the different competitions. All these issues gave me a glimpse of the size of the project we have on our hands and just how amazing this event is; it really does deserve to be considered as exceptional. With entertainment, logistic concerns, layout & design, communication, sport, marketing and so many other aspects to consider, this is certainly a multifaceted task we have here. If we’re to make a success of it all, then everyone needs to work together. This is exactly what we did in 2012 and that’s exactly how we intend to continue in 2013!

2/ With 586 days to go before the event, what are your priorities for 2013? With an ever-growing team, veterinary issues, competition preparation with the discipline managers, the FEI and the FFE, the test trials to organise…

All the key organisational aspects are now behind us. In 2013, our focus will be on hospitality arrangements for the different delegations. We are currently moving forward with sanitary and veterinary issues, stable management, logistics, and as I mentioned beforehand, with hospitality arrangements for the delegations… whatever we’re working on, we have the same boundless determination and motivation that we’ve always been renowned for.
Furthermore, we intend to push on with the same hard-working attitudeas we embark upon the test trials scheduled from August to October 2013. These tests will allow us to evaluate a certain number of parameters. With just over a year to go before the event, this gives us the opportunity to meet and get valuable feedback from the different delegations and to really understand their individual needs. It comes back to the same thing every time; these types of initiatives are only possible thanks to team work. We have been working closely with the FEI and the FFE for a year now and the whole team has got on top of the challenge. I’m sure that we will make a real success of our objectives if we continue as we are.

3/ With regards to your organisation and various initiatives, could you talk a little about aspects that are particularly specific to France?

More than just a particularity, I would say we’re talking about the renowned French expertise when organising international equestrian and generally speaking sporting events as a whole. Obviously, our aim is to live up to the excellent reputation that France has for proven organisational skills. We have drawn our inspiration from the finest international sporting events to be hosted in France (equestrian and otherwise) to bring what we know works to our own organisation.

Apart from adhering to this idea of French excellence, we would also like to add what we think of as the « Norman touch ». Our region has long been known for its organisational skills, with events such as commemoration ceremonies, international festivals…

The relationship we have with event organisers, our decision-making or even our choice of service providers is all based on the same leitmotif: providing the very best in sporting and event management in 2014, without forgetting who we are and where we are from!

4/ So any resolutions for 2013?

To stay calm, take up a little sport and get back on a horse more often !

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