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Richie Porte pays it forward

hawkeye's picture

By hawkeye - Posted on 30 May 2014

A good story about making a contribution. Some interesting takeouts about development opportunities for mountain bikers in there too.

Antsonline's picture

About 6 months ago, I was invited to an MTBA 'elite coaching / funding' meeting. most of the meeting was spent with people saying "we dont have the money we need, what can we do with the pittance that we have?"

I hate whinging. After the event, I sent an email to 'the powers that be' and said - you dont have any government money - sure. However, why dont we think more laterally?
Bradley Wigging personally funds the 'Wiggle Honda' ladies road race team. He see's it as a positive contribution.
I asked the group who were at the meeting (the great and the good of elite MTB in aus - include Olympians, World Cup winners, Coaches etc "Has anyone asked Cadel?"
They all - every single one of them - laughed.
Nothing has been done since.

So - Cadel Evans - started in MTB - openly loves the sport, is very supportive of charity, and is also a fully paid up Australian.
If he was told that the sport that made him great was in need of some funding - perhaps for junior development, or U23 travel, or really - however he might want to contribute - I am SURE he would help.

I could be wrong. But seeing this Richie Porte story - it annoys me because it has happened because he is a good bloke, not because any of the administration of the sport dared to ask....

Rob's picture

While watching the Giro last night there was a bit of footage of Alonso. It's only a matter of time before he sets up a pro cycling team they say. This goes to show how relatively 'cheap' cycling can be to fund. I mean that a single star from another sport can consider owning an entire cycling team. And MTB funding would have to be much cheaper than the road, huh?

You have to wonder how many requests stars get for help though. Maybe it is rude to ask. It takes a special kind of guy to do something without prompting, so good on Porte and anyone else who does.

Anyhow, so last night watching that the missus asks, if I were a gazzilionare would I buy a bike team? Hell yeah! Did you see Tinkov riding with his guys on their rest day recently? You can bet Alonso would do the same. Wonder if Glazer ever had a kick around with Rooney & co? I'm guessing not.

Hackasaurus's picture

I dare say Fernando can afford a team quite comfortably. This estimate by Forbes (referenced on the Planet F1 website) is probably quite conservative based on my 25+ years of F1 gazing and any financial interest he might take in another sport would probably be matched by sponsors. Excellent driver by the way. Been doing it since he was 3 years old. Shame about the pig of a car he's been dragging around the track for years since he joined Ferrari.

But I digress.....

Ants, does anybody keep tabs on how many prospective MTB champions are going unsupported and what is the dollar figure needed to assist them to progress? Individually and cumulatively? What is the measure of success by which these talents might qualify for assistance? Is it an issue of cash or of services in kind, that is, actual MTB product, travel, accommodation, etc being needed to keep people on the bike.

As generous as some benefactors might be, no-one will give these prospective talents the time of day unless a well researched and credible business plan is available. That business plan would need to include clear statements outlining goals, milestones, anticipated expenses and RoI for the supporters/sponsors/benefactors. Also a few reality checks or "what if's". The reality is that people like Richie Porte are the exception. There are possibly quite a few like him, but the number would be insignificant compared to the number looking for financial assistance. Most benefactors will need or expect a tangible return on their cash.

Does the MTBA have a pro forma sponsorship application template or checklist that can be made available to those seeking assistance? If not, why not? Is there a mentoring programme that provides access to sports and media personalities that can coach them in the mysterious ways of celebrity? Do they provide life skills and financial coaching so that (young kids mostly I would expect) can be given an impartial (ie, not the parent's) view of the world they are trying to be part of..... and an impartial view of the world in general so they don't go ape shit if they do crack a decent contract or have a few big wins?

I agree that whinging about what we don't have is a waste of oxygen and ultimately does not endear us to others. It is unfortunately, a very human trait. Supposing someone did approach Cadel, what would they ask of him? That, I feel, is the starting point. Never ask a question if you haven't already engineered a favourable answer.

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