Hello from Marne!

Hi all, 

Firstly, big thank you to everyone for the very warm welcome to AusCycling.   

This first few weeks has been a whirlwind – a great induction to the sport and my sense is, only the tip of the iceberg. I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to lead the organisation and it was with a sense of great excitement that February 1 (Day 1) arrived, having watched the formation of AusCycling from afar. 

On that point, I wanted to acknowledge you all. To everyone involved in transforming the sport (and I know there were many), congrats on having the foresight to do something truly unique and the envy of many other sports.   

We now all have a massive opportunity to forge a new future for cycling as One Sport. One Cycling - respecting our collective history, our collective success and ensuring we leave the sport in a better place than when we came to it. 

I’ve no doubt there will be teething problems as we transition to new ways of working and I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with the AusCycling team across the country so that we can address these proactively.  We will also make sure there are ample opportunities for dialogue and discussion to ensure we’re focusing on the areas that will best support Clubs and Members. 

As well as saying ‘hello’, I thought I’d share some key activity and observations after the first three weeks in the seat.   

COVID continues to make life interesting, but my sense is we’re all adapting and finding ways to keep the sport going, which is so important for our collective physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re struggling with what you can and can’t do under your State or Territory rules – visit the COVID-19 Resource Centre – and if you have any suggestions about how this could be improved, please let us know.   

In a short three weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many amazing and passionate people – staff, volunteers, athletes and partners – there’s a real sense of energy around the evolution that has occurred in the sport.  As an AusCycling team, we’re working through some pretty big changes in the way we work - bedding down new systems, learning new disciplines and figuring out who and what we stand for as ‘one team’.   

Good news is, I’ve got a great sense of where the pain points of the transition are, and we’re doubling down to resolve these – I know I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say we aim to be exceeding everyone’s expectations in the not-too-distant future.  

We’re also continuing to build out the new AusCycling staff structure, and on March 1, we’ll welcome Ag Giramondo to the leadership team as GM – Commercial, Member and Club Development.  Ag joins AusCycling with a strong commercial and stakeholder management background, as well as a passion for the sport, having been President of one of the country’s largest Clubs for the past five years.  He’ll play a key role, with our State and Territory GMs, in ensuring we continue to build a thriving Club network across the country. 

As Clubs, you are the lifeblood of our sport and I’m looking forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks and months – we’ll most likely do this through a series of “townhalls” around the country with Board and AusCycling staff members.  This will be a great chance to check in, get a sense of how you’re travelling and discuss what’s most important to you as the Club network - so keep an eye out for that invitation. Hope you can make it! 

We’ll also keep you connected to the work of the AusCycling Board, which met last week for the second time as the new entity.  The agenda covered a range of topics, including the opportunity to hear from Tracey Gaudry about the role of the UCI and Oceania Confederation.  Tracey recently announced that she would not be renominating for the UCI or Oceania President role, so the Board took the opportunity to acknowledge the significant contribution Tracey had made to the sport internationally.  The Agenda also included updates on the operational transition to AusCycling and a deep dive into Australian Cycling Team / High-Performance program  

Finally, feedback and suggestions on how we can be better at what we do are always welcome – always feel free to reach out via ceo@auscycling.org.au to let me know how things are travelling and if you’re facing a headwind. 

Thanks again for welcoming me, it’s a privilege to work in sport, to work for cycling – where else do you get the opportunity to work in an industry that has such impact on the lives of everyday Australians and to work with people that are passionate about making a difference. 

Let’s ride together. 

Marne Fechner 

Chief Executive  

AusCycling 

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