With the Cycling Ireland AGM this Saturday, We caught up with one of the members running for the Presidential Election.
Ciaran Mc Kenna has been biking from age 12, Past Ras stage winner and has plenty of experience, so we were keen to see how he would lead cycling Ireland if voted in, in what can be a difficult role.
BCF: So Ciaran, good luck with the vote on Sunday, What priorities have you for 2016 if you were elected:
A few notable areas I would like to see improvement would be on the domestic racing scene, to implement mechanisms to alleviate the high volumes in the A3 category and push greater number in to the dwindling A1 & A2 category, I would see an active road commission group conducting this activity, there are 3 motions up for discussion to address the issue at the AGM but you may get to many opinions on the day and it may be difficult to get a consensus on the day , so I would think a small group of indivuals who are up to date on the points system, getting together and returning to the board with their recommendations before January.
There has been much talk about the calendar, any ideas on that?
Yes, both road and off-road, the events are weighted to the start of the year. This year there were I think 32 events in March compared to 10 events in September. I think rebalancing of the racing calendar would be healthy for competition and the sport.
What about our elite riders, representing the country, What is your position on that?
We are blessed with loads of natural talented riders and it would be healthy for a review of the current High Performance plan to see they are being developed. I want to include the track, road, U23, Junior. Off–Road to include BMX and MTB. The U23 road squad missed out on competing in this year World Championships due to not competing in enough of Nations Cup races. We should be looking at sending Junior and U23 teams in all disciplines and gender to events abroad so they can compete with the best in Europe. Look at the growth in Cyclo Cross, we need to support this talent and hold on to our athletes by giving them goals to race abroad and improve their ability and opportunity.
On a personal front I would love to see an Irish team in next years An Post Rás, we need to have a national team in our flagship stage race.
What issue, might be difficult in the year ahead?
Road Closures! The events cancelled due to Garda and Fingal County Council pressing for road closures affects the whole country. This is an area that needs to be addressed and Cycling Ireland need to be proactive in it approach to road safety and it has a duty of care to address safety in all its events, we need to continue to have access to open roads but we need to assist clubs in increased safety awareness when running events.
I want to direct Cycling Ireland to promoting awareness to Cycling Safety, and backing Irish campaigns from our own members like “Staying Alive at 1.5” which is getting global awareness and traction, it should be supported by the governing body for Cycling in the Country.
To sum up, I would like to bring the organisation forward as a proactive organisation that is visible and accessible to all its members, It is time to change and promoted a culture of engagement and accountability between the organisation and the members and recognising that the members are the central stakeholders of the organisation.