“They were all very positive and I believe we’re in a better place than we were when I started. There is still so much to be done, but we keep working on it.”
Maree said there were quite a few challenges in his role and it was not as easy as he thought it would be.
“There is always more than one side to a problem. As you have pro and fun riders, the body itself and event organisers, you have to try and accommodate everybody.
“I’ve only been in the position for about six months. It’s also still a new avenue for athletes to get to CSA and be heard by someone still active in racing.”
The 30-year-old said he had a love for the professional side of the sport and would like to see more of it.
“It’s something we’re busy discussing within CSA – to get pro racing back to where it was a few years ago.”
He said there was also a change in thinking about how things were being done.
“This has been seen by some of the cases we have had, in that communication has increased. And as soon as that happens people understand each other a lot better.”
Maree added that there were a few things he needed to focus on, but mainly his aim was to help the top tier of the sport in SA.
“Also to try and create more opportunities for more riders locally and not just the select few who can make it to Europe.”
He also hoped to see the sport return to where it was a few years ago on the pro side when there were more races and more spectator-friendly events.
“For most I would say the rider-safety aspect is something we’re working on very hard at the moment as it’s our top concern. We’re working with numerous groups and organisations to create a safer environment for cyclists in general.”
Regarding fears concerning the spread of the coronavirus, Maree said it would have a massive knock-on effect for the sport in the short and medium term, but he believed they would get through it and build on it.
“As far as the economy goes there are definitely people who would know a lot more than me. I don’t believe we have any idea how it will effect the country and the world.”
His dream for the sport in SA is to see local racing become as big as in Belgium where there are more races and they are spectator-friendly.
“People want to see bike races and guys going fast. With this in place I believe we can grow the professional side of racing again.”
Maree said they had also set up a representative body that will be able to look after each of the other sporting codes, such as MTB, track, BMX and para cycling.
“This will help us to do more as CSA in every sporting code and hear what the riders think and what they would want. That is one of the main reasons for the rider rep position.
“If riders have anything they would like to share, please feel free to do so and I’ll do my utmost to make sure we use that information and try to grow cycling into the amazing sport it is.”