It has been a busy couple of months for CyclingSA and I’m happy to update you on the progress we’ve made during this time.
First on the list of priorities was to review the structure of Cycling SA as a National Federation to ensure we execute and implement the key deliverables effectively.
At a General Assembly meeting in August, CyclingSA approved a new constitution and structure which focused on corporate and financial governance, driving diversity and development, whilst building strong business and sporting pillars through the provincial and regional affiliates.
In addition, the General Assembly also approved the 2024 strategy with a strong focus on development, building capacity and inclusivity. This strategy aims to give more recognition to cyclists, building capacity and training technical staff such as UCI coaches, mechanics, administrators and officials, to name a few.
Another decision taken by the Assembly was the requirement of individual members to have club or academy association from 1 Jan 2022 as part of their membership. Though initially planned for 2021, this transition requires an update to our IT systems and a phased-in approach, which we will share more details on at the start of 2021.
A National Development Plan has also been established to guide the way forward for transformation, development and growth. As a strong structure is required to implement these plans, we have used the ‘downtime’ during the pandemic to put in place almost 120 volunteers in different disciplines and provincial portfolios to work towards achieving our strategic objectives and goals.
As youth is key to future success, CyclingSA and School Cycling South Africa are working closely together in establishing cycling as a nationally recognised school sport. I thank and congratulate the progress SCSA has made to date in laying a strong foundation through mountain-biking already and look forward to this being rolled out across all disciplines.
DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC RULES AND REGULATIONS
We will be reassessing the specific discipline plans in the next 2 months, as we look to prepare for Tokyo 2021, with an eye on the opportunities for 2024.
The discipline commissions, inclusive of technical and high-performance experts, are meeting to review what changes may be required in terms of our domestic regulations to help us fast-track growth and performance. Updated selection criteria, regulations and other supporting documentation and policies will become available next month.
Though we are taking into consideration the possibility of the second wave of COVID19, the following are key discussion points for all disciplines:
- A national series, leagues and youth festivals
- Junior and U23 National talent identification and academy program
- Finalisation of all National Championship dates and venues
Following an online meeting held on 3 October 2020, the Track Cycling Commission will be revisiting their rulesets in more detail, making necessary adjustments to aid this discipline in leaping ahead in terms of performance standards looking towards the 2028 Olympic Games. This is key as track cycling offers greater medal opportunities at World Championship and Olympic Games level.
In addition, a decision was taken to follow the UCI’s updated rules to start the track season in October. This means that riders will ride a year ‘up’ at the events for the remainder of the year in preparation for the Track National Championships taking place in January 2021.
Para-cycling is also investigating an alternative calendar and National Championship for 2021, as these categories have always formed part of National Road and Track Championships events. There is an appetite to host an independent Para-cycling Championship event for all road and track cycling disciplines, and we hope to make an announcement soon.
All relevant information will be shared following the conclusion of all these Indabas.
UCI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
I want to thank and congratulate all those who have requested entry in the Road World Championships in Italy last month, and the recent MTB XCO World Championships in Austria this past weekend. We watched with great pride as our athletes represented us on the world stage.
This year has been a challenge in terms of the support CyclingSA could give its riders participating at World Championship events, and with the government only updating the gazette for sport on 7 October, all national federations were restricted in terms of selection of riders to participate in international events.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Though we cannot yet turn the page on COVID19, government has sufficiently relaxed regulations to allow cycling gatherings up to a maximum of 500 people to take place. As such, there are a number of events initially removed from the calendar which can now take place during the remainder of the year.
MTB XCO National Champs: Coetzenberg, WP on 7 November 2020.
BMX National Championships: Giba Gorge, KZN on 5 December 2020.
CYCLINGSA OFFICE UPDATE
I am sad to announce that our Secretary General, Greg van Heerden, has given notice to resign from his position at the end of December 2020 in order to focus on his coaching consultancy.
With Greg remaining in the role until the end of the year, he has offered to work closely with us to find a suitable replacement. On behalf of the federation, I would like to thank Greg for his continued dedication and contributions over the past 8 years.
We have made great steps in rebuilding the federation in the last few months, and we will look forward to continuing on this positive trajectory into the new year, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Stay safe and healthy,