It is with great glee I read this via a tweet from @csv this morning.
It brings a sense of closure to me, after butting heads with a stone wall ever since I failed to regain Board membership at last year’s AGM, I have been a persona non grata within CSV ranks. This includes no longer receiving notifications, agendas and minutes of Race Commission meetings, despite being advised I was still a member of that commission.. Well until last week that is, when I was told the Commission had been dissolved some time ago. Funny, as members of that Commission were asking if I was attending meetings in January, and the Commission Chair seemed to think the Commission was still in existence a just under a month ago. But apart from those verbal discussions, I’ve had nothing but silence, and last week complete denial. How do you get rid of people you don’t want from a Commission? You restructure, change the name of the commission, and tell the people you don’t want on board that the commission no longer exists. In business such restructures happen all the time. The process fails in credibility when the advertised new position looks and sounds just like the old one, with a minor tweak to the position title.
Anyway, I feel a sense of closure, and that it is time to move on from cycling governance and politics. It’s been a funny week, with women copping a fair blow in track racing, losing the diamonds from the Ladies’ Diamond Stakes, junior women failing to be acknowledged in racing lists in the fixture, and dumbarse, patronising comments from Max Stevens of Cycling SA in regard to the type of women he wants racing in particular events in that state. Mothers, aunts and bunnies do not qualify, need not enter.
It’s frustrating and bloody annoying to look back on the time and effort and work put in over the last 4 or so years, and realise that the dent made is invisible, quickly puttied over when you turn your back for a moment. Ground hog day. What did I achieve in that time? Nothing. An omnium that will be non-existent in its current format as of next year (including being a girls only day out if the new format Race Commission has its way). As I won’t be there to argue the case, the format WILL change, guaranteed. The boys win, nothing changes and the System keeps grinding on.
What do I see as the main issues with Cycling governance in Victoria?
· Poor communication
· Lack of transparency
· Lack of focus (core function guys!! What is it?? )
· Poor communication (oo did I say that?)
· Lack of understanding of grass roots racing (ie club level, not marginal groups that attract Vic Sport and Rec funding grants)
· Egos (personal and between individuals)
· Lack of acknowledgement, true, genuine meaningful acknowledgement of the volunteer base that actually does the work of running races
· Burnout of those volunteers
· Lack of support for those volunteers – many pay their own way the whole way to officiate at races, provide their own resources and equipment to do their job properly
· Patronising lip service only to issues of importance to club racers ie all talk no action, no real care
I had a nice chat with one of my mentors over the weekend and it was clarifying. It made me realise it really is time to move on. The sport administration/governance is not ready for women, not ready for shifting too far from what it is comfortable and familiar with, which is looking after its very own, and doing its own thing in what is actually a highly dysfunctional manner. If cycling governance was a small business, it would be broke and without customers. Currently it survives because people want to race, and they make it happen.
As for me, I’ll race when and where I feel like it, and enjoy my chosen sports. I have a full time job, part time study, a new business to get up and running, two horses to look after and work. I think one race this season is pretty good going, and I achieved more than I had planned. As for those who govern our sport, I wish them luck, because they are going to need it.