Cycling South Africa president William Newman said the announcement of the “self-funding” policy for national representatives was not the end of the road.
He spoke to In the Bunch yesterday after the national body said that, due to a lack of funds, they would not be able to cover the costs for those entering international events.
The president stressed that the policy was nothing new and added the aim was to be transparent with riders about Cycling SA’s financial situation.
“What we’ve put in place now is not entirely new but what I’ve tried to do is notify the riders that any team going forward to represent South Africa outside of the country, whether it be in Africa or overseas, will have to be self-funded,” he said.
In the statement released on Wednesday, Newman said they wanted to draw attention to the other avenues available for funding.
“It doesn’t mean that if we, the national federation, don’t have the money to provide funding that it ends there,” he said.
“We’ve outlined other avenues that can be tapped into.
“The rider belongs to a club and a club can get access to funding at different levels.
“There’s also a Lotto application that a rider can apply for and local and regional departments as well as the provincial sport confederations and municipal councils that can provide assistance.”
Newman, who is currently serving the first year of his second term, said the structure of the national federation allowed for multiple levels of support for athletes.
He said clubs needed to play their part in financially supporting their riders on a local level and explained that, should issues arise, they could then escalate it to a regional level.
“If still not sorted there then it will go to provincial level and once they’ve exhausted their avenues then it comes to national level.
“If you work through this structure it will ensure the riders can be supported at four different levels.”
As it stands, Newman said the federation was not in a position to fund national teams.
“As I stress again, this is not something new, there’s always been an element of self-funding required.
“We, as a national federation, encourage cyclists to find new and creative ways of attracting funding.”
Cycling SA had been in constant discussions with corporates regarding funding, said Newman.
“All our events on the calendar add immensely to the economy and the cycling industry is booming.
“I would like to appeal to all these partners and sponsors and everyone else who benefits from the sport to come along and work with Cycling South Africa to help provide a better lot for our riders.”
Newman has been involved with the SA cycling federation since the early 1990s and has held a position on the executive since 2006.
“I really want to support riders to the best of my ability because I know how it is to be deprived of opportunities.
“I can safely say that is not what we are trying to do here, this is about being realistic.”