Not only is this move by the Canadian Federation a disgusting slap in the face to one of the largest contingents of mountain bike racers and cyclists in general, it seems to contravene the mandate of UCI, the world's governing organization. The UCI constitution clearly states in Article 3:
"The UCI will carry out its activities in compliance with the principles of: a) equality between all the members and all the athletes, licence-holders and officials, without racial, political, religious, or other discrimination".
To me, this implies equality in funding. Factoring in an adjustment for numbers, this still means we should be getting funding for all disciplines at some level, not putting all our money towards one form of the sport.
The Constitution also goes on to state in Article 6:
"As members, the federations shall comply with the Constitution and Regulations of the UCI, as well as with all decisions taken in accordance therewith. Likewise, they shall have the Constitution, Regulations and decisions of the UCI complied with by all persons concerned.
2. The Regulations of the UCI shall be incorporated in the corresponding regulations of the federations."
This implies that the Canadian organization should incorporate the equality, across not only discipline but gender and other considerations.
Downhill Mountain Bike racers have never fared well with respect to funding. At the 1996 World Championships, we were given used national team jerseys to wear, some of which had to be returned. We paid all our own expenses with the exception of Andrew Shandro, being the #1 seed based on being national champion. Our Dual Slalom squad was totally neglected despite having several top 50 finishes in world cup qualifying (myself included).
The news release is pasted below. I want to urge anyone reading this to please do what you can to help Chris help our 2007 national downhill squad and whatever country you come from, please consider helping to make an athletes dream come true. Representing your country at the world championships or Olympics is the highest honor any athlete can have. To have this taken away by a short sighted lack of funding is horrible.
Media Release August 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Downhill Cycling Foundation of Canada “NDCFC”
2007 Canadian National DH Cycling Team
www.NDCFCanada.com / www.NDCFCanada.ca
HEADLINE: National DH Cycling Team making history!
NDCFC and the 2007 National DH cycling team is making history this month!
The team is facing the reality of having no funding! Canadian Cycling Association will offer no direct funding to the Downhill Cycling discipline which is directly inline with the levels of funding received by Sport Canada.
With 10 members on the National DH Team and no funding, manager/coach Chris Colbeck and the athletes have come up with a way to help themselves and the future of the sport! All are trying to travel to the biggest event of the year, the 2007 World Mountain Bike Championships in Fort William, Scotland September 8/9.
Chris Colbeck manager/coach of the 2007 National DH cycling team and former member himself is heading up the National Downhill Cycling Foundation of Canada “NDCFC”. “I will not sit back and watch the athletes struggle year after year after year financially! It paralyzes the future growth of the sport” We have organized a major fundraiser in Vancouver, BC to help the athletes.
For more information please visit our web site or contact Chris Colbeck directly.
National DH Cycling Team Manager
PO Box 960 Whistler, BC. V0N1B0 Canada