Canadian Cyclist


May 5/05 6:36 am - Canadian Cycling Association's COO Quarterly Report

Posted by Editoress on 05/5/05

Canadian Cycling Association
COO Quarterly Report and Q1 Action Plan


As the Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA), I would like our stakeholders to know we enter the 2005/06 fiscal year determined to generate measurable results and improve transparency. This report, the first of my quarterly updates, will set out a 7-point strategy to grow top-line revenues by 25% each year for the next three years, lower administrative costs as a percentage of overall revenues by 10% in 2005, invest more money in our athletes, coaches and sport science, increase the benefits of CCA membership to our current and future members, and strengthen our relationships with the provincial associations and National Cycling Centres. And after reading this document, readers should have a better understanding of what we plan on doing (operationally) in the year ahead.


The CCA currently supports junior and senior-level cyclists in the four Olympic cycling disciplines of Road, Track, Mountain Bike and BMX, as well as events and programs for athletes with a disability in visually impaired (tandem) cycling, and amputee, cerebral palsy and hand cycling events. We also provide direct services to our membership, athletes and coaches that include professional development opportunities, special training camps for national team riders, staff services to represent our members with government agencies and departments, regular board and committee meetings as well as special bulletins. While the services are broad in scope, and our staff numbers small in number, we are making good progress in improving service delivery. And I expect to see more improvements in the months ahead.


Audited financial statements for 2003/04 show a surplus of $35,037 on revenues of $2,532,361 and expenses of $2,497,324. Of those dollars, 69% were allocated to High Performance and Development Programs, 26% to Management Expenses, and 5% to other business activities. Statements for 2004/05 are not yet available, but will be made public in July of this year.

Given that 58% of our current funding comes from the federal government, my first eight weeks in office focused on completing our core funding submission, clearing up our financial position and meeting our government financial reporting requirements. As COO, I made the decision to focus on these areas and accept full responsibility for the actions taken to date.


To enhance our role in the development of Canadian cycling, we have set the following short-term objectives:

• Structure the CCA’s national operations along functional business lines
• Hire a High Performance Director to build a stronger National Team program and vision
• Implement a plan for our National Cycling Centres and establish a clear funding model for each
• Become more responsive to our athletes, coaches, members and provincial partners
• Ensure our program committees are functioning well and communicating regularly
• Hire a Director of Marketing Operations to launch an aggressive marketing program
• Increase awareness of our domestic programs through a targeted communications effort
• Redesign the corporate web site and enable e-commerce capability
• Hire a Finance Director to develop better internal controls and enhance financial reporting practices
• Explore opportunities to reduce insurance costs while maintaining comprehensive coverage
• Begin talks with the provinces to help secure infrastructure money for new facilities
• Monitor our domestic events and assess performance at summer’s end


A key objective for Q1 is to bring some structure to the national office, so in the coming weeks, we will create the following four business units:

• Finance and Administration
• Marketing Operations
• High Performance
• Domestic Program Development

And by tasking each unit with deliverables and targets much like you would see in any business operation, we’ll improve performance. The expectations are that our long-term objectives (identified on the next page) will flow from this proposed structure.


Finance and Administration
We currently do not have a full-time financial officer on staff with bookkeeping activities currently handled by a consultant. While we have managed to do some catch-up work over the past two months, thanks in large part to our consultant’s work, we need to have a senior resource on staff to provide an integrating perspective to decision-making and senior experience in cost management, risk management and stakeholder reporting. And so, on April 24th we launched a competition for a senior director to manage those tasks with the expectation of having that person on staff for the beginning of June.

Marketing Operations
We still intend to launch a competition for a Director of Marketing Operations. As head of our new Marketing Operations Unit, this person will oversee strategy development (and implementation) in marketing & sales, media & communications, merchandising and licensing, advertising and promotion, and account management. Coming from the private sector, I am a big proponent of having in-house expertise in these areas. Of course, readers should know this won’t prevent us from working with outside professionals or partners when needed, so the person hired to lead this unit will have strong people management and negotiation skills. Servicing the Tim Horton’s account is a priority and this person will lead in that area. I would also expect to hire an account manager this year to service new accounts and to develop other business opportunities (e.g., negotiate volume rebates with national service providers).

High Performance
Conversations with a number of our key stakeholders - including top elite athletes - pointed to the need for more capacity and experience in our High Performance Unit. And as most readers know, we launched a competition on April 8th for a High Performance Director. The response has been good and
we expect to hire a strong candidate. A selection committee with top athlete and technical representation is assisting in the selection process and we expect to have someone hired by early June.

Domestic Program Development
Creating this new business unit is another important initiative for us. We envision it taking the lead in a number of interesting projects including, but not limited to: a National Road Series focusing on the development of our young Canadian riders, a stronger Canada Cup MTB series, a new East-West BMX series, and a cross-Canada roll out of Sprockids - our National Introduction to Cycling Program. The person selected to lead this unit will have strong cycling experience and clearly defined goals and objectives. Ensuring that we do a better job of interacting with our provincial associations, officials, event organizers and general membership will be at the top of that list.


Achieving the following operational goals are priorities for the year:

• Improve our commitment to our National Teams by improving long term planning for High Performance and ensuring program planning for Worlds is completed 6-12 months in advance
• Sign a title sponsor and a television agreement for one or more of our event properties
• Sell 5,000 units of our Athens 2004 Olympic Jersey
• Register 1,000 children (aged 9-12) in the Sprockids’ National Introduction to Cycling Program
• Launch a major fundraising effort to promote our athletes and raise $100,000+ for our national teams
• Refocus on strengthening relationships with our provincial associations, NCC’s & corporate partners
• Formulate a consistent licensing strategy in cooperation with the provincial associations
• Explore opportunities to reduce insurance costs in 2006
• Ensure completion of our LTAD model by late 2006 and explain how its success will be defined
• Report annualized revenues in excess of $3.0m in 2005 and $3.7m in 2006.


In order to achieve these goals, we will need to:

• Hire strong leaders to lead each of the new business units
• Allocate 75% of our overall budget to High Performance and Development Programs
• Invest 20% of our administrative funds in marketing and communications-related activities
• Implement a plan for our National Cycling Centres and National Teams
• Develop a comprehensive risk management plan
• Develop a communications plan to strengthen media presence
• Organize fundraisers in our major cities to improve networking opportunities with Corporate Canada


Restoring trust and confidence in the CCA will happen – although admittedly not overnight. We will begin by establishing a contract with the provinces that outlines key accountabilities and responsibilities. We will then build off our recent program committee meetings to assess our programs and events, bring in new money and enhance cross-Canada communications. And while this takes shape, we will:

• Hire a Director, High Performance Programs (May/June)
• Hire a Director, Finance and Administration (May/June)
• Hire a Director, Marketing Operations (May/June)
• Start developing a risk management plan (June/July)
• Redesign the corporate web site and have a communications plan in place (June/July)
• Develop sustainable performance management systems to ensure objectives are met (July)
• Work in a more collaborative fashion with our provincial associations (ongoing)
• Listen to our stakeholders, analyze our performance and then plan accordingly for 2006 (ongoing)

With this approach, I am confident you will see positive results in the months ahead. I look forward to discussing this performance in my next report, scheduled for release at the end of Q2.


Steve Lacelle
Chief Operating Officer


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