Cycling New Zealand Schools was established, in part, to promote enjoyment, participation and competition in cycling for all school aged children, and to advocate for the rights and interest of schools cycling at the appropriate level.
Cycling New Zealand Schools’ is committed to ensuring all riders are afforded the opportunity to realise their potential through participating in cycling.
At the 2018 Cycling New Zealand Schools AGM, the need to raise and address how we support, recognise and value girls in cycling through our Schools Cycling events and activities was highlighted.
Cycling New Zealand Schools’ commitment to ensuring all riders are afforded the opportunity to realise their potential through participating in cycling lends itself to a discussion on how girls are recognised within the School Cycling community. That discussion should also address concerns around gender inequity and create awareness of the unconscious bias that leads to the marginalisation of girls, especially in an event setting.
Cycling New Zealand Schools believes it is inappropriate and unacceptable to marginalise one group over another based on gender, a prevalent attitude in modern society reinforced by world leaders, global organisations and by our own government through the development of the ‘Women’s and Girls in Sport and Recreation’ strategy launched in October 2018.
As such, Cycling New Zealand Schools commit to:
- Ensuring a safe and fair environment for all who participate in schools cycling
- Ensuring that there is equal recognition in the capability of all riders.
- Creating and supporting an environment that increases female participation in schools cycling and beyond.
- Ensuring dynamic competition and meaningful progression in racing distances while ensuring participation opportunities exists for all.
- Ensuring that appropriate and equal recognition of all riders is made through all aspects of event planning.
Cycling New Zealand Schools asks that all member schools and their riders, parents, officials and event organisers support this commitment and to ensure, not only that their own language and actions align with this commitment, but they address any actions or language that are in direct conflict of this commitment.
To support this commitment, a working group has been established to help drive progress and to ensure the visibility of the commitment is maintained. This working group includes:
- Logan Townsend – Epsom Girls Grammar School
- Meshy Holt – Cycling New Zealand Schools Executive
- Erin Criglington – Cycling New Zealand Road and Track
- Colin Dixon – Home of Cycling/Cambridge High School
- Janette Douglas (Facilitator) – Cycling New Zealand
Given this commitment, the following changes have been recommended and implemented ahead of upcoming events (North Island Road, North Island Track, and South Island Road):
- Organisers have been asked to review processes for medal presentations, media releases, social media coverage, announcer messaging and commentary to ensure equal representation and opportunities are available for all riders. Specifically:
- Review medal presentation schedules to equally recognise riders including any opportunities to speak.
- Social media coverage and media releases have an equal representation of female and male racing and results.
- Commentators are provided with information from the entry system and undertake their own research to ensure they have proficient knowledge to comment equally on female and male riders, across all grades.
- Officials and organisers have been asked to ensure consistent language is used for different genders.
The Working Group will continue to:
- Identify areas that can be developed to ensure equal opportunities exist for all riders including appropriate racing distances across all genders and age groups.
- Identify initiatives to increase participation of girls in schools cycling (currently at 28%).
- Support existing leadership programmes and initiatives in place to encourage more females in management, governance and coaching roles within the sport.
- Identity how we can continue to raise the visibility and value of girls in cycling through Cycling New Zealand schools and activities.
This working group invites further conversation from those within the sport to contribute to this discussion. To contact the working group, please email email@example.com.