News

A message from the Chair and the CEO of BMXA

15 October, 2019

Dear Members,

As you would be aware, BMX Australia has been working with Mountain Bike Australia and Cycling Australia to investigate an alternative structure to represent the best interests of all cyclists in Australia.

It is our belief that the current structure, which has 19 different cycling entities at state and national level is not the most efficient to carry the sport of cycling forward and address the increasingly complex challenges that are facing sport in Australia.

The AusCycling proposal that you would have read about and discussed with fellow BMX members is the outcome of those discussions.  AusCycling will replace the 19 existing entities at national and state level with one well-resourced organisation that will represent the interests of all cyclists in the country.

This proposal would result in a number of benefits for the cycling community, including:

  • Giving control of the sport to the clubs that run the sport at the local level by making them the owners of AusCycling, directly voting in the Board members of the organisation.

 

  • Introduce one licence that could be used to ride across all disciplines at a cheaper price for many of our members.

 

  • Maintain (or in the case of several BMX states, introduce) local offices in each state and territory with paid staff members to help with the delivery of services at a local level.

 

  • Creating an organisation with a membership size of over 55,000, providing an organisation that is attractive to commercial sponsors and government bodies.

 

  • Reducing the duplication that currently exists, allowing those funds to be reinvested into developing cycling.

 

Most importantly, the introduction of AusCycling would not affect the operations of your club at a local level.  The proposal does not aim to take your club’s funds, reduce your club’s opportunities to earn local sponsorship or government grants or affect the great racing that currently exists.

We do believe that the effect of AusCycling on your club will be a realisation that the national body will be able to provide more support for your club, making your job easier and allowing you to spend more time on some great BMX racing.

Members of the Steering Committee have spent August liaising with our state associations to seek their feedback and then September travelling around Australia, conducting roadshows in each state and territory, providing clubs and individuals with information about the AusCycling proposal and seeking your thoughts on what you like and what areas concern you.

As with any major change it was expected that there would be people with differing views, as we are all passionate about BMX racing and its future.  Many people supported AusCycling as a way for the sport to move forward, while some people had concerns.

The Steering Committee has listened to those concerns at state and club level and while the proposal will never be able to incorporate all the differing views, a number of important adjustments have been made to address many of the concerns raised.

These include:

  • The introduction of State Advisory Boards, with representatives from each discipline to help guide the organisation at a local level.

 

  • The introduction of a National Advisory Board, with representatives from each State to have direct access to the AusCycling Board.

 

  • There were concerns around clubs having differing club fees providing the opportunity for members to “shop around”. This has been addressed by providing the State Advisory Board with the responsibility for setting a minimum club fee for BMX in each state.

 

  • There were concerns around members being able to race BMX under the one licence system without being a member of a BMX club, resulting in a possible loss of important membership income for clubs. The Steering Committee addressed this concern by allowing BMX clubs to set the entry conditions for racing held at their clubs to include a mandatory BMX club membership or set a differing entry fee for non-BMX club members.  In short, we want to provide the incentive for those who ride BMX to join a BMX club and contribute to the sport at their local level.

 

  • In Queensland, our members wanted to be sure that the zone organisations that have supported the sport in that state would be able to continue, and the Steering Committee is happy for the clubs to continue to organise themselves into zones if they feel that benefits BMX in their area.

 

There were three main points that came out of the roadshows.  The first was that there is a desire for change within cycling and bringing the three disciplines together is an important part of that change.

The current model that is being proposed is seen by the BMXA Board as the most efficient structure to bring about that change and set the new organisation up in a way that makes it successful for the future.

The second point was that we don’t want to lose the great things that are happening today in BMX racing.  The objective of everyone involved in AusCycling is to ensure that all the great work being done today in participation, racing, athlete and coach development, officiating and club development continues unimpeded with the introduction of AusCycling.

What we are trying to achieve with this process is to keep all those great parts of BMX and add support in the areas that the sport is currently lacking – commercial development, infrastructure support, sport integrity, diversity and inclusion and advocacy.

Finally, we heard loud and clear that you don’t want the culture of BMX racing to change, and neither do we.  We have a great family friendly, inclusive culture in BMX and the last thing we would do is look to change it.

It is important to remember that the culture of BMX racing is set by the people involved, not the structure of the legal entity that oversees it.

The culture of BMX racing is set by the mums and dads that administer family friendly clubs, lifelong riders that attend races into their fifties, the kids that love racing but love the mateship that comes with it even more and the coaches and officials that help keep the sport on track.  While ever that exists the culture of BMX racing will remain strong.

The final decision of whether BMX supports AusCycling will ultimately rest with the voting members of each state association – the clubs.  Over the coming weeks those state associations will call for general meetings to consider the special resolutions needed to support the proposal.

If you want to find out more information about AusCycling you can visit www.auscycling.com.au and follow the AusCycling social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

The website includes a long list of FAQ’s, information on memberships and governance and other information relating to AusCycling.  By being well informed you can then let your club know your views on whether you support AusCycling.

Above all, when thinking about this issue you need to consider what you want BMX racing to look like in ten- or twenty-years’ time and what is the best structure to help the sport achieve those goals.  We believe that AusCycling is that structure.

If you have any questions regarding AusCycling please feel free to contact the BMXA office or ask questions via www.auscycling.com.au

Kind regards,

Darren Alomes
Chair, BMX Australia

Martin Shaw
CEO, BMX Australia