National Federations get to discover the city of Caen

On Thursday 7 March, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy Organising Committee welcomed eleven foreign delegations to a Venue Tour in Caen. This day-long meeting was the opportunity to update the delegates on the project’s progress and to show everyone around the future competition venues in the city : D’Ornano Stadium, the Zenith indoor arena, the Prairie Racecourse and the Exhibition Centre.

National Federations get to discover the city of Caen
© Comité d'Organisation Normandie 2014

Throughout the day, representatives from the different federations were able to see what life would be like for both riders and horses during the Games in terms of transport, accommodation, logistics…All of which are essential points for the preparation of these athletes. “With 535 days to go before the Games, it’s quite normal to organise this type of meeting” confided Laurent Cellier, sports director. “The representatives from these federations saw first-hand the extent of the project’s progress and they got to ask all the questions they had about a whole host of issues. This is vital for getting their teams ready”, he went on to add.

It should be noted that although the delegations are obviously interested in the sporting side of things, the logistical side of the event is far from neglected: Where will the riders be staying? How will everyone get to and from the hotels? Where exactly are the stables? Where will trucks be able to park?  These were the very questions that the delegation services manager, Pauline Laïdi had to answer throughout the day. “It’s absolutely normal for the delegations to have these types of questions and organising a Venue Tour helps us to cater to each delegation’s needs. Our goal is to make sure that they will only have to concentrate on the sporting  site of the competition during the event.” She explained.

“We got to see all the different venues and were able to work out what our needs will be in terms of team management”, explained Claude Nordmann, head representative of the Swiss delegation. While being concerned with certain logistical aspects, James Wolf, head representative of the U.S. delegation, was particularly enthusiastic about being able to see the competition venues: “Each edition of the Games is different and here we’ve been able to visit the competition venues. This really is a good thing.” he indicated. “I think that their greatest challenge will be the organisation of transportation links between the different venues but I’m sure everything will be fine.” He concluded.

Finally, this day-long meeting gave the federations the opportunity of meeting their dedicated contact, Pauline Laïdi. Next step: a second Venue Tour for the delegations unable to participate this time round. It will be held on 3 April 2013 – just before the Test Events in August!

Delegations from the following countries were present on 7 March 2013: Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S.A.

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