April 1/09 7:34 am - CCA Forced to Drop Track Program
Posted by Editor on 04/1/09
In a stunning reversal, the federal government has told the Canadian Cycling Association that the funding recently awarded for the track program in the next four year cycle must be reallocated to BMX. The move is doubly shocking after the recent success of Canadian riders at the Track World championships, where they won two silver medals.
"We just received word from our Sport Canada officer yesterday," said CCA Chief Technical Officer Jacques Landry via e-mail from Europe. "This is a complete shock to all of us."
The Minister of State for Sport is B.C. MP Gary Lunn, who issued the following statement through his office: "Cycling is an important and healthy past time that we want to promote and succeed at. I own a bike myself. When I saw the success of BMX at the Beijing Games last year, and the number of kids who ride around the streets of my constituency on BMX bikes, well, I knew that we needed to put more resources into this sport. Plus, for what I understand to be the cost of one Olympic quality indoor cycling track, we can build dozens of BMX tracks across the country."
Landry said that the CCA will try to appeal the decision but that, "ultimately the funding comes from Sport Canada, and they can put restrictions on how the funds are used. We are still studying the matter, and I will be trying to arrange a meeting with the appropriate Sport Canada officials as soon as I return from Europe."
Richard Wooles, the Team Manager for the recent Track Worlds, was less diplomatic, with a scathing statement that including comments like "bloody bureaucrats" and "I should have stayed in Wales".
If you want to register your opposition to this move, an online petition has been set up Here