Mountain biking officially recognised as a sport
Even though it would seem that something so fundamental would have been executed years ago, Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) has only just been officially recognised as a National Sporting Organisation (NSO) by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
This recognition sees mountain biking and MTBA acknowledged within the Australian sports environment as an official NSO and equating mountain biking with other cycling disciplines including BMX, road and track.
MTBA CEO Shane Coppin said it is a significant moment for mountain biking in Australia. “It’s something all involved should be proud of and will benefit from,” he said in a statement.
“MTBA are looking forward to working more closely with the ASC in the areas of sport participation, pathways and health initiatives.”
The move doesn’t mean that the cycling disciplines are any closer to forming a collegiate approach towards cycling as a whole. For example, it used to be possible to take out a licence with, for example, a road club and pay a lower upgrade fee to race mountain bikes or BMX.
This has not been the case for several years, and many observers can’t see this situation changing any time soon. For example, a recent direction change for the national body has placed its resources almost entirely on track cycling in order to improve Australia’s Olympic medal tally.
MTBA, on the other hand, says it’s committed to work with the ASC, CA and BMX Australia on improving the future alignment of the disciplines for the benefit of members and all those riding a bike in Australia.
In response, CA released a terse statement recognising the “interim” decision to grant MTBA ASC status, and reiterating its position as “the national body responsible for the sport of cycling in Australia.”