In a statement released today, Cycling South Africa revealed they would no longer fund national team members’ participation in international events.
In the past the national federation has absorbed as much of the costs as possible, but they announced that the economic climate had put paid to that.
The organisation said the situation was not unique and that many other national bodies worked according to a similar principle.
RoadCover manager Nic White said the decision to cut funding would impact the sport largely on an international level.
“When Cycling SA select national teams to take part in tours in Africa, as we’ve just had with the Tour of Eritrea, they normally cover all the costs.
“Should they make a call to stop funding these tours too, then I doubt there will be riders willing to go if they have to fork out of their own pocket,” he said.
White said South African riders relied on international exposure to secure contracts with professional teams.
“We’ve been lucky enough that we do have a few guys who have been prepared to pay for themselves – Louis Meintjies, Daryl Impey, the Dimension Data riders – but not everyone is in a position to do that,” he said.
“The downfall at the end of the day is that, if we want SA to be present at the Olympics, for example, then we need X amount of riders there, accumulating points for the country.
“If they now need to pay for themselves then the country’s standings will fall lower and lower.”
He acknowledged the difficult task of finding sponsorship and said it would be even more challenging for those wanting to compete at an international level.
“It’s not easy to get sponsorship and support and if you aren’t competing at a level that attracts maximum exposure, then I don’t think you’ll get any at all.
“For those local supporters who do get some coverage from the local industry they will get some return but this isn’t enough for the bigger, international companies.”
In their statement, Cycling SA said competitors could apply for funding at the following sources:
• Provincial Sports Departments
• Provincial Sports Confederations
• Regional Sports Councils
• Regional Sports Departments
• Municipal Sports Departments
• National Lotteries Commission