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Para Cycling vs. UCI - Sarah Storey

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Para Cycling vs. UCI - Sarah Storey

24 Nov 2016 10:44

This article was printed November 24th in the Evening Express. It quotes Sarah Storey, who voices her displeasure that the UCI have not scheduled para track cycling events nor announced a para track cycling championship date.

https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/pipe/sport/dame-sarah-storey-takes-uci-to-task-for-lack-of-progress-in-para-cycling/

I would like to hear from fellow cyclists as to their thoughts on the UCI and their sponsorship of para cycling. Is this something cycling should be deeply involved with? Are there para events for road, mtb, and cross cycling? Does the UCI have any obligation toward providing para events?

While there certainly isn't money in para events, it is a very worthy charity. But, I would hasten to add, so is the Special Olympic events for the mentally handicapped.

I enjoy professional events. Let's not forget road cycling is free when you attend. Free! I don't even think the money on Masters track cycling is worthwhile.. The championships is 8 days compared to 4 for world championships. That is twice the cost with very little return. Junior cycling has its place, as it is the very future of cycling in all disciplines.

But, Special and Para cycling are not spectator sports. They are events for the sole benefit of handicapped individuals and their families. Even the most prominent feature, wheelchair races included in marathon running events, is a side event at best, without much fanfare or media attention. But it is nice they include it.

What is your opinion? Does your support include financial contributions or just moral support? What is the future for special events?
Shame
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24 Nov 2016 20:29

UCI's role is not to make money, it's to administer the sport including paracycling. They officially accepted that role for Paracycling events in 2007(ish) from the International Paralympic Committee.

That said they have a responsibility to be financially prudent as well. The majority of their profitable income comes from running the road world championships. It represents about half of their entire income stream, so that's a sizeable risk factor having all that revenue squeezed into one event.

My concerns are less about the fact that there are para competitions (which I think is great and needs to be encouraged and most definitely the UCI have a role to help provide access to people from many forms of disadvantage) but more how that gets played out at national level - the focus of sports funding and support programs is almost exclusively on the elite level of para sport and very little attention is given to inclusiveness and encouragement for disabled to participate in sport. If you are not a para games medal chance, most programs couldn't care less, indeed it often acts as a barrier and disincentive to participate.

I became a paracyclist after accident and amputation in 2007 although the vast majority of my racing since then was racing regular events at local level I did para road and track events for a few years and UCI Para Road World Cup when it made it's only venture to my country in 2011 (did OK too). The opportunity to compete at international level was a big motivator for me to ride and try to race again (the bike was the thing that kept my spirits up), while dealing with the para bureaucracy was a significant demotivator.
User avatar Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: Para Cycling vs. UCI - Sarah Storey

25 Nov 2016 23:41

Probably no Velodrome or club wants to hold these championships. Why? Look at what is needed by the UCI to host a world championship. The UCI should eliminate or minimize the requirements. If my track can hold a state track championship with only 4 local officials plus a few volunteers then why can't the UCI do so for the para-cyclists?
avanti
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10 Jan 2017 02:04

I especially appreciate the comments above. I really wish some para and masters events could be held the same week as the Championship (Mon-Wed), but I know it isn't practical.

Here's today's announcement of the Para championships announced for LA, USA in March. The message seems to be 'be glad you got this' and the lesson is to be in shape and prepared to peak in sixty days.
http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1045621/los-angeles-to-host-first-post-paralympic-year-edition-of-uci-para-cycling-track-world-championships-in-march

I know there are financial issues. Couldn't some of the money be saved from those ridiculous events of cycling 'artistic' riding? Cycle ball? Are you kidding me?
Image

[img]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/vfTM1mMce40/hqdefault.jpg?custom=true&w=196&h=110&stc=true&jpg444=true&jpgq=90&sp=68&sigh=Y_V1HewMZsyxRPY5R9-XIDz850g/[img]
Shame
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10 Jan 2017 21:05

Such short notice is ridiculous, not just from the POV of athletic prep and performance but from a logistics and budget planning perspective. On the paracycling FB page there are paracyclists all over the world saying neither they nor their nation will be going.
User avatar Alex Simmons/RST
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