MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
It’s been an exciting few weeks for MTBA with our membership base now in excess of 12,000, with a further 1,500 free trial members and supporters.
It shows our growth this year has well surpassed the same time in 2015 with the biggest increase in recreational membership.
MTBA are now considering the option for members to be multi-club members, based on feedback that has been received.
If you wish to see the breakdown of our membership head to this link.
Congratulations and thank you to all clubs for helping us drive MTBA and club membership.
Club enthusiasm was very evident from my recent trip to Townsville. I was privileged to witness first hand the terrific work being done in clubs at junior level. It was a wonderful experience to watch the enjoyment for both the juniors and organisers involved.
In recent days there has been quite a lot of national commentary surrounding the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) policy “Winning Edge” and it’s impact on smaller sports in the country.
Interestingly while road and track cycling receive over $9 million and BMX receives $1.2 million in ACS/AIS funding MTBA have been afforded no funding or recognition for our ongoing efforts.
MTB is of the few sports that compete at Olympics and Commonwealth Games and have a strong history of success at World Championships and World Cups in non-Olympic disciplines, including multiple World Champions in Downhill, Gravity Enduro, World 24hr, XCE and current World Trials Champion Janine Jungfels.
Currently MTB, as a sport, does not receive federal government support like numerous others and is not recognised as a National Sports Organisation (NSO) by the ASC. Yet MTBA is expected to deliver all the same services and opportunities as many other NSO’s.
There is no equitable reason for the current ASC’s decision regarding NSO recognition, which is the critical factor in MTBA receiving financial support from either the ASC or AIS.
MTBA and mountain biking as a sport has been disadvantaged by the current policy of the ASC and this position is substantially worsened under “Winning Edge which is focused on Olympic Gold Medal outcome, rather than overall sport performance.
An interesting fact is in 2015-2016 the ASC will invest approximately $123 million across 64 sports, with at least 22 of them are non-Olympic sports, and still mountain biking is ignored.
MTBA welcomes the review to highlight the current ASC “Winning Edge” program and its impact on Australian sports organisations.
MTBA will continue to lobby for support and we encourage you to get behind us at any opportunity to highlight the need for mountain biking to be recognised equal to other national sports, but most importantly with the other cycling organisations in Australia.
Another point of discussion is funding ethics.
MTBA, as a national sporting body, has always been very diligent in not aligning with any one MTB manufacturer or supplier and been very supportive of protecting local business and companies from international competitors.
The conundrum is that we don’t receive any true support - financial or product investment from local suppliers– to put towards our pathway programs or events and have in recent times been closing doors to approaches from large international companies who are in the throws of setting up shop in Australia.
In light of the recent funding conversations is international funding now something we need to potentially consider to ensure we can invest into our development programs and ensure the growth of our sport?