Posted on: May 10th, 2011 by Caitlin Demaree-Dyer No Comments
Lausanne, Switzerland – JustWorld International Ambassador and number one show jumping rider in the world, Kevin Staut of France, was named the first athlete representative to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Executive Board.
Staut, who is the reigning European Champion, will serve on the FEI Executive Board. Other members include FEI President HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (JOR), First Vice-President John McEwen (GBR), Second Vice-President Pablo Mayorga (ARG), Chair of Group VII Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), Chair of the Driving Committee Richard Nicoll (USA) and FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos (BEL).
“We are very proud that the FEI has recognized the valuable contributions that Kevin can make to the sport by advocating for the athletes in his new role on the FEI Executive Board,” said Jessica Newman, Executive Director of JustWorld International. “Since becoming a JustWorld Rider Ambassador, Kevin has been an exemplary model for equestrian youth, demonstrating how an athlete competing at the highest levels can still make giving back to others one of his highest priorities. Kevin is a true leader, not only in the world rankings, but also by inspiring countless young equestrians to become socially responsible citizens.”
Staut has been a JustWorld Rider Ambassador since 2006, helping the not-for-profit humanitarian organization to raise awareness about its work in the developing world by helping children in impoverished communities. As a Rider Ambassador, the 31-year-old has been an active role model, donating a portion of his prize money to the organization and performing autograph signing sessions at various competitions. In 2010, Staut acted as the spokesperson for Les Poulains du Coeur (Foals from the Heart) breeding auction, a fundraising initiative that raised €11,140 to benefit JustWorld International.
“I got involved because I wanted to do something to help, to communicate with other people about the work that JustWorld is doing and give them the idea to get involved as well,” said Staut, whose father and step-mother adopted a child from Cambodia, one of the countries where JustWorld has a project site. “I chose JustWorld because it is a good cause and, furthermore, my sister is Cambodian and JustWorld acts in Cambodia, so I feel especially concerned by this cause.”
With show jumping riders around the world signing up to become JustWorld Rider Ambassadors, Executive Director Jessica Newman has mobilized some of the sport’s biggest names towards supporting JustWorld’s projects. There are currently more than 400 Rider Ambassadors from 35 different countries, ranging from nine-year-old pony riders to Olympic medalists, who help bring attention to JustWorld International’s cause and support its project sites in Brazil, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Founded in 2003, JustWorld International raises awareness and funds in the equestrian community to support humanitarian projects that benefit impoverished communities and children in the developing world. Cooperating with local partners, JustWorld International implements sustainable, culturally sensitive education, health and vocational projects.