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British Cycling protects public funding with governance reform

British Cycling, the governing body for the sport in the UK, has warded off the threat of a substantial cut in funding following the approval of a reform package for its administration.

British Cycling announced on Saturday that its proposals to amend governance structures in order to comply with the UK’s new Code for Sports Governance and professionalise the organisation were approved by the organisation’s National Council.

The proposals were amended to include measures to create a board place nominated by British Cycling’s 10 English regions. The new code had demanded that boards of governing bodies must be the ultimate decision-making body and exercise all the powers of the organisation in question. The support of British Cycling’s 130,000-strong membership for such changes had been in doubt, but with a 75 per cent majority needed, the BBC said the reforms were voted through by 94 per cent of members.

This will mean that British Cycling’s public funding will be secured, with the investment having allowed Great Britain to become a dominant force at international events in recent years. The Sport England funding agency had assigned £17m (€19.2m/$21.9m) to British Cycling to aid grassroots participation, while UK Sport is set to invest £26m for its Olympic and Paralympic teams' preparations for the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo.

Team GB topped the medal table for cycling at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, collecting six golds and 12 medals in total. The Netherlands in second place won two golds and six medals in total.

In a statement, British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said: “Securing funding for elite and grassroots participation through these changes will enable us to inspire more people on to two wheels across communities the length of the country.

“Without secured funding we will not be able to share our love of the sport and enable others to try it. Our sport is growing and growing up. Today’s vote is the start of an exciting new chapter for British Cycling and our sport.”