For the fourth year running, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has decided to allocate eight grants for women looking to train as Sport Directors. The course will be held later this year, on 12-15 November, at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland.
The UCI launched the Sport Director training programme in 2010. The course is held once a year, at the end of the road racing season, and the exam that brings it to a close is now compulsory for anyone looking to work as a Sport Director with a UCI WorldTeam or a UCI Professional Continental Team. Although the course is not yet compulsory for UCI Women’s Teams and UCI Continental Teams, anyone working as a Sport Director in these categories is strongly recommended to take the course and sit the exam that forms part of it.
In striving to ensure that women take up management positions in cycling, the UCI hopes that the allocation of grants will see more of them take part in this course and go on to become Sport Directors, all while enhancing the professional standards of Women’s Teams.
With the exception of travel costs to and from Aigle, the UCI will cover all course costs for participants awarded a grant, including full board and course registration fees and material.
Priority in awarding the grants will be given to women who have experience as Sport Directors or athletes, though any woman with an interest in pursuing a career as a Sport Director may apply. Each application will be studied carefully and will receive a reply no later than the end of October.
Below, previous recipients of grants recall their experience of the course and what they gained from it.
Carmen Small retired from competitive cycling at the end of the 2017 season. In planning for her future career, she took the Sport Director training course the previous year and is now in charge of Team Virtu Cycling, a UCI Women’s Team:
“The Sport Director course helped me learn what a Sport Director does and what the job entails.
“We learned about UCI regulations and how to apply them. The course gave me a clear vision of what’s expected of us as Sport Directors.”
Retired professional rider Tone Lima has taken the same career path and took the 2017 course. She is now a Sport Director with Hitec Products Birk Sport, another UCI Women’s Team:
“I went from being a rider to a Sport Director, and this grant allowed me to take the course and understand what the job is all about.
“As riders tend to have a preconceived idea of what a Sport Director is and what they do, but the course really shows us the challenges involved in the job.
“It also provided an opportunity to meet other Sport Directors from other countries with different cultures. It lets you see other perspectives and broaden your knowledge of the job. It’s really interesting.”
The deadline for submitting applications to the UCI is 14 September. The training grant application form is available here.
For more information write to [email protected]. Please copy [email protected] on the email.