Cycling SA forges into new territory
CAPE TOWN – Ciska Du Plessis-Austin is ready to drive Cycling South Africa to new heights with a host of task teams in tow to lay the foundation on which the federation can serve its community with impact.
The newly elected president Austin is well equipped to head up national cycling given her multi-faceted academic qualifications and experience in various positions in the lower rungs of the admin ladder.
“I feel that those at the top, and part of the executives, should be equipped to make the right decisions. My involvement in road, track, MTB and para-cycling gives me a better understanding of how things are happening on the ground, and how best to apply my experience going forward,” said Austin
Austin has looked into the problem areas in cycling.
“Cycling SA has functioned without a structured long-term plan which has left the organisation isolated and with no corporate relations in place,” said Austin.
“The club network has not been part of the integral structures of the federation, so I’m looking to include them from an administration and capacity building perspective.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown sport around the world a curveball and cycling in SA has been hit equally hard.
“We will support them with expertise and resources so that administrators, club competition co-ordinators, coaches, new young talent and general social interaction can operate optimally.
“National cycling has tried to create an appetite for their assets over the past decade, but I believe we have positioned it too costly in the market.
“Again, with no corporate partners, we rely on the current financial model which is membership driven and relies heavily on participation levies. Research shows that this has rapidly declined year on year and is not sustainable.
“Working with government should be a bigger priority as cycling varies from commuting, to mass participation, to being competitive on the world’s sporting stage. We need to align better whilst also transforming the way we do things.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown sport around the world a curveball. National cycling has been hit equally hard.
“Essentially with no mass participation events taking place since the middle of March, it has cut off a major part of our revenue streams.
We have had to take drastic measures to reduce costs until such a time that the economy re-stabilises.”