El Presidente


This Saturday sees a very strange event, not just the normal abnormality of a Scottish Cycling AGM, but it also includes a contest, we actually have more than one candidate for SC President!

For many years, the tradition for each bearer of the President’s role is to attempt to get rid of it, to suggest they stand down, only to get mocked & persuaded to continue for “just one more year”. Jock Shaw was the master of this, even suggesting at one AGM that he would stand down if the calendar wasn’t published on time, yes, the SC calendar which has never been published on time (he didn’t stand down, when the expected turn of events repeated itself).

The SC President’s role is a tough one, more so in the current climate, where you’re expected to fill a voluntary role alongside the salaried SC executive(s). You have to love the sport to take on a role like that, plus you may realise that you’ve set yourself up, put yourself in the firing line of the (normally) irate membership to take a pop at. The SC executive(s) don’t bat an eyelid at criticism, see the Governance Review for evidence of that, many of the potential fixes to the issues highlighted in that have maybe been talked about, but not necessarily actioned. The President will take some of the heat for that from the membership, even though it wasn’t their doing, but this is how our sport works, minor squabbling with those who’ll listen & ignoring those who don’t appear to care. It should be the other way about?

The major issue with the President’s role is that it may not actually carry much weight in real terms, no matter how hard el Presidente tries to make a difference. As I’ve pointed out in Sport V Funding, the sport is no longer volunteer or membership led, its guidance comes from funding, not experience & knowledge of cycling. I’ve drifted in & out of caring about who is SC president the last two weeks, but having swathered, considered sending them all questions or open twitter questioning, I’ve come to the conclusion that whoever wins the vote on Saturday has a huge opportunity.

The opportunity is to find a way to allow the knowledgable people back into influential positions, where the executive(s) will listen to them & not discount them. The trick is to reach a point where everybody benefits, where the funding is secure, a new direction can be found which leads to a development plan which ticks the funding boxes & appeases the masses of disgruntled cyclists, club members & volunteers, who feel more like a number than a person. This is a huge opportunity for change, for the better, for everybody.

The Candidates

So lets look at who we’ve got, fortunately the Edinburgh Road Club have posted some of the propaganda material on their website, so I’ll link to that.

Kathy Gilchrist – PDF Link HERE

Alasdair MacLennan – PFD Link HERE

Richard Davison – Blog Link HERE

We have some historic info on the candidates there, plus Davison has a couple of pages of blogs, which are quite interesting, especially the one referencing what may have been going on within the board to stop certain board-members standing, worth a read before you vote. Obviously, I like a blog approach (especially as this blog gets a mention), but the more traditional flyer type info still has its place, it’s all valid campaigning. I didn’t link the absolutely blatant propaganda flyer sent to clubs from one candidate, a “look who my pals are” which could have been straight from Pat McQuaid, a bad move in the current climate, regardless of intention.

The Jist Of It

From this blogs point of view, what we’re looking for is somebody who will stand up for sport & force change. The change we’re after isn’t one-sided, compromises have to be made, but it’s gone too far in the way of funding, while forgetting about the sport. For Scottish Cycling to become the strong organisation we all want, the sport has to start taking centre stage again, but in a manner in which we can demonstrate growth & development can occur in line with funding targets. This will re-engage the people with passion for the sport, freeing up their hard-earned spare time, to be given back to the sport the volunteers love to support. Lets elect a candidate who’s willing to take a stand, you’ve got a great choice there, I’m still undecided, choice forces stronger opinions & it looks like they’ve all upped their game. Choose wisely & hopefully we’ll have a better, happier & more sport orientated governing body in the very near future.

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1 Comment

  1. Just having a wee look at the AGM papers. Anyone know whether this:
    “A rebate of 20% per entrant for each participant in each
    event held in the Region. ”

    Means that money from XC / DH / CX events go to the region rather than the off-road associations?

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