NEWS: British Cycling withdraw 2014 indoor funding

In an unprecedented move last week, British Cycling have withdrawn their funding for the 2014 Indoor Cycle Speedway championships, that take place in Coventry in January, throwing the future of the competition into doubt.

The national event is due to be hosted by the Midland region again this year, after successfully saving the competition from potential extinction at the eleventh hour last season, when the Northern region ended their run of hosting the popular event.

British Cycling took the decision to withdraw funding as a “consequence” to the Midland League deciding to take their racing under the TLI banner for the 2015 season. BCHQ indicated to Midland League officials that the move will lose them around £4,400, and therefore do not feel obliged to fund racing activities by Midland clubs.

Midland officials were quick to point out that the Indoor championships are a national event and in cutting the funding, are punishing the entire sport. It was also argued that all the Midland Clubs have put into the “British Cycling pot” through affiliations and levies for the entirety of the 2014 campaign, and cutting the funding for the 2014 competition goes against the agreement British Cycling made at the commission meeting in March 2014.

The decision is disappointing from Cycle Speedway’s point of view and the timing is questionable. Midland Clubs indicated to British Cycling at the start of June, that their wish was to take the Midland League racing to TLI. It would seem in making their decision, British Cycling have taken little account of the 20 plus hotel rooms which Cycle Speedway members had already booked for the championship weekend, should organisers have not been able to put in place all the necessary funding and insurance requirements, given the short notice of the four figure funding withdrawal.

However, organisers have reacted quickly and all components for a successful British Indoor finals weekend will be in place. This includes the expense of the air fence, insurance and venue arrangements. It is understood British Cycling have already paid for medals, jerseys and the hall deposit.

Entries are continuing to be accepted for all age group and team categories on the normal British Cycling website, we understand the entry money will be passed on to organisers. All entries to date will of course be honoured with the closing date of 3rd December 2014 still currently in place. Should this change a new online entry has been set up and will be accessible via 33/18 News.

Midland League clubs meet this evening for an extraordinary general meeting, with “2015 self governance” the only item on the agenda. With other arrangements now firmly in place to keep the indoor event running, it is perhaps unlikely that a change of position will be the outcome of the meeting.

The 2014 British Indoor finals will take place on 3rd and 4th January 2015 at the Sports Connexion, Coventry. The official hotel is the Village Hotel, Coventry.

What do you think about British Cycling’s last minute decision to cut the indoor funding earlier than the previously scheduled 2016 date? Is it justified or another step in the wrong direction for the future of Cycle Speedway and British Cycling? Email