This year we raised a ton of money for DPF. That was fantastic, and I’d never want to take money away from DPF as I am sure they rely on it heavily as a major donation to their annual work and it is a great cause.
But could we run a 2nd ToS, and use it to fund a UCI position for someone like Kathryn Bertine or Emma Pooley to do the work that is needed so badly?
If $250k was to be raised, that would support putting someone into the role, provide some level of security in the role, and would be someone who could try and change it from the inside - work directly with the existing people who manage sponsors, manufacturers, contracts etc.
Isn’t it better to fix something from the inside rather than talk about how bad it is from the outside?
If it was an annual thing, it could eventually support more than one person plus costs/expenses.
If the UCI was presented with a “sponsorship of a full time equality role” from someone like Wahoo where it cost Wahoo nothing except some of their brand, but it it was funded from the SUF community, it would be hard for the UCI to turn it down without losing any last remnants of respect/integrity they have on the subject.
Or am I being too much of an idealist?
I for one admire your optimism, but I would imagine UCI would turn this idea down in a heartbeat. Not to mention we’re going off the assumption they truly want to address the equity issue, of which I have my doubts.
Well then let them make the decision. If the idea is good, we should not self-censor.
I have absolutely no doubt that the UCI could easily afford to fund something like this if they wanted to.
The problem is that they don’t have the appetite for it.
As much as I am with you on the idea that such a position is needed within UCI, I cannot share your optimism. That is because this is just not the way any sports governing body works. To put it as simple as possible: if any (crowd-funded or commercial) initiative suggested funding a ministry of bicyclists for any country, no government in the world would be accepting this - for a good reason.
So if we want to change the current state of equality and diversity within the UCI, this must emerge within its own structures. To get there, we must raise our voices for the cause. And that is where brands like Wahoo could come into play much more easily.
I think that’s should be a key thing that brand do. Rather than just concentrating on sales and making money, the big cycling brands should be pushing the UCI and other bodies for equality in the sport.
A few years back Helen Wyman the CX rider pushed for prize money equality for the women along with pushing for a womens U23 category as they only had U23 mens. From what I remember she said it was bloody hard work getting the UCI to change, I can’t imagine much has changed since then.
It’s odd being labeled an optimist, I’m usually the grumpy old man in the room. It feels like a “don’t ask you don’t get” situation to me.
I wonder if anyone from Wahoo reads these forums. It’s one thing to raise awareness of an issue which I think they do well, but nothing changes without some sort of tangible action/effort.