Conference Review
- Day One

Iain Edmondson @IainEdmondson
Very straightforward speech from
@BrianCooksonUCI addressing the issues for
cycling. Lots of nods in the room. People want to
look forward #SAC2014


Cycling still has a ‘huge’ amount of work to do to rebuild trust, according to Brian Cookson, President of the UCI, the sport’s global governing body.

In a Keynote Address at the start of Day One of the Main Conference Programme at SportAccord Convention, Cookson, who was elected President last September, focused on explaining the six ‘core pillars’ of his manifesto – namely the UCI’s reputation, anti-doping, the sport’s growth, women’s cycling, elite road cycling and the sport’s place in the Olympic movement.

“We are making progress, but of course there is still a huge amount to do,” he told delegates. “We have to have a sport where a parent can bring their child, and know that their son or daughter can go all the way to the top if they have the ability and dedication – without having to lie, without having to cheat, without having to do things that will risk their health, without having to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder.

“If we cannot do that as a governing body, then we have failed our members and our sport. But we are not going to fail. We are going to succeed.”


Accessibility is key if sports are to flourish, delegates on Day One of the Main Conference Programme were told by an insightful panel into ‘Rulebreakers and Game Changers’.

To set the tone, SportAccord Director General, Vlad Marinescu, insisted that, “sport is the one essential component to being a healthy human being and without it humanity will go into a dark age”.

International Paralympic Committee Vice President, Andrew Parsons, highlighted the need for support to be given to those implementing development strategies. “We need to give National Federations the tools to engage with athletes who have an impairment at the grassroots level,” he said.

Ladies European Tour Chairman, Helena Alterby Nordström, and International Rugby Board Secretary General, Brett Gosper, both spoke about the growth of their respective sports, with Nordström saying that, “golf is a sport for everyone, but we have to keep working on trying to get children active.”

Gosper underlined the need to have the right team in place to execute successful development strategies. “Employing people from a variety of backgrounds, from retired athletes to businesspeople, is beneficial,” he said.