Posted by Editoress on 05/3/08
Federal Government Announces New Policy for Hosting International Sport Events ... But Not for Cycling
But will this program benefit cycling?
Unfortunately few cycling events will benefit from this program. The BIDDING process (a requirement to qualify for funding) ups the price for hosting an event and the UCI has a policy of awarding World Championships to non-European venues every 7 years (or so).
For many years cycling enthusiasts in Ontario (and most other provinces with the exception of Quebec) have scratched their heads about the lack of UCI-level cycling events in the province. The 2003 World Championships was to be the catalyst for a resurgence of high level racing events.
Corporate support for non-winter Olympic sports has stalled of late and promoters are turning to government grants to assist them putting together their events.
A recent conversation with a promoter who was turned down for funds to assist in holding a UCI calibre event in southern Ontario revealed he was turned down because the event was not a "BID" event, that is, no other venues/promoters were going for the same date.
Both the federal and provincial government programs have a bid process as part of the requirement for funding, the details of which can be seen below. However, this process completely ignores the reality of how cycling events are awarded by the UCI.
For a non-world championship or World Cup level event, the organizer applies (through the CCA) to the UCI to have their event on a certain date. Assuming it meets the requirements (technical, financial and not conflicting with other events in the same geographic area) then the UCI will approve the event and add it to the appropriate calendar.
Therefore, there is no bidding involved, and thus organizers who are applying for funding under these various programs are being flatly told "you don't qualify".
Now, leaving aside the fact that this is bureaucratic silliness at its worst (let's ignore reality and make the world fit our system...), it also means that organizers are put into financial hardship that other sports don't face, all while trying to achieve the increase in international events that these programs are meant to promote!
From Government of Canada
The Government of Canada recently announced its new Federal Policy for Hosting International Sport Events, which will provide the foundation for a proactive and strategic approach for the bidding and the hosting of international sport events in Canada.
The Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), announced the policy in Gatineau April 29th during the 2008 Sport Events Congress hosted by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.
"Hosting international sporting events in Canada provides our athletes and coaches with valuable training and competition experience, and contributes to our goal of becoming a leading sport nation," said Secretary of State Guergis. "A coordinated and strategic approach to hosting sport events will ensure Canada maximizes sport, cultural, and economic benefits for Canadian communities."
The new policy builds on the Strategic Hosting Framework for Hosting International Sport Events, previously approved by the 14 federal-provincial-territorial governments. With the addition of a $14.7 million annual investment to the current base funding of $1 million, this new policy will help the Government of Canada work with national sport organizations, multisport service organizations, and other orders of government to take a proactive approach to bidding for and hosting international sport events in Canada.
The policy will provide an opportunity to adopt, for the first time, a pan-Canadian approach which will significantly strengthen the Government of Canada's investment and leadership in bidding for and hosting events. The new policy, beginning this year, calls for a maximum of two International Major Multisport Games every ten years, one Large International Single Sport Event every two years, 30 or more Small International Single Sport events each year as well as International Multisport Games for Aboriginal peoples and persons with a disability.
The new policy provides a proactive and strategic approach to bidding and hosting while promoting effective, timely and transparent decision-making coordinated with provinces/territories and the sport community. The policy will also require the sport community to develop their strategic and proactive long-term plans with relation to hosting international sport events in Canada and the new funds will allow for better support for all international single sport events.
The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and supports participation and excellence from the playground to the podium. When the commitment in Budget 2008 is fully implemented, the Government of Canada's investment in the Canadian sport system will grow to an all-time high of more than $164 million annually.
Sport Canada's policy
Sport Canada's Assessment Guide
Guidelines for Completing Economic Evaluations
The Ontario Government's "International Amateur Sport Hosting Policy" has a similar requirment:
The sport event has been sanctioned by an international sport federation that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, or an International Games Federation (e.g. Commonwealth Games Federation, Pan American Sport Association, World University Games, Special Olympic International), and is awarded through a formal bidding process by the international sport federation or international games federation.
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