Our trade must share energy, enthusiasm and experience with the young people so badly hit by the pandemic, says industry insider.
Covid-19 will have long-lasting social and economic consequences in the UK. The worst hit are obviously the dead and the families that are left grieving; we mourn their loss, writes Monty Stuart-Monteith.
The next worse hit is probably Generation C. This is a phrase used by [former Conservative leader] William Hague in a hugely influential essay recently published. Mr Hague talks about the boomers, the millennials, Generation Z and so on, but it is the issues of the school-leavers and students of 2020 - the generation C (Covid) - that is the focus of his concerns.
Generation C faces a tough time; truncated education, poor job prospects as we enter a deep recession, social life hugely curtailed. There is little of the clarity that my generation – that of the boomers as my 19 and 21-year-old offspring tell me regularly – was fortunate enough to enjoy.
Many current 18 – 24-year-olds will miss the time spent with inspirational teachers, lecturers and their own generation that gives youngsters a balanced introduction to adult life. This is a generational, social and governmental issue, but can we as a trade - or more widely as a sport - do anything to help?
I call upon the trade to open a debate with the sport as a whole to look at various ways of helping youngsters. We need to discuss how they may be enhanced, rather than be held back, in these difficult times.
There are a host of ideas:
- Work experience
These and many other ideas can be developed to help our sport going forward:
- Improve accessibility to sport
- Business development and diversification for rural businesses
- Digital education
- Use of AI (artificial intelligence)
- Improving sustainability
If we can engage the sport and its institutions as a whole to focus on these issues, could it be that in a few years’ time we can say that the sport came out of this pandemic stronger than it went in?
About the author: Monty Stuart-Monteith, managing director of distribution and marketing hub Shaws Equestrian, is a former BETA chairman.
- ETN is happy to publicise any ideas and initiatives anyone in the trade would like to share. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org