Scottish Cycling performance questions

Cycling track racing Glasgow velodrome
Scottish Cycling has more money, more full-time staff and better resources than at any time in its history.* Why then has there been so much dissatisfaction with the performance strategy put in place by the current Head of Performance, Gary Coltman and his Endurance coach, Mark McKay?

Following discussions with coaches, current and former SC staff as well as riders over 18 months, a series of questions was formed and directed at the Board. They can be read here.
Scottish Cycling ‘investigated’ and replied. The replies were jargon-heavy (“bullshit bingo” was one succinct and just-about-printable description) and looked like they had been assembled by committee.
Additionally, some of the membership’s questions were simply not answered. No names of the Board members were attached to the responses, so the membership has no idea who was responsible. When the Board is keen on ‘improving communication’ this is a poor state of affairs.

So, with the 2016 AGM almost upon us, here are some of the same questions, asked again. Perhaps the membership and other interested parties will hear straightforward, clear responses then?

*In replies to recent questions, SC said that its “clear goals…such as medals won at British championships” means that “the success of the programme is easy to assess..”. Fair enough. In the three years since the current endurance coach and Head of Performance have been in post, which British medals have been won by riders they have been directly involved in coaching? Do these medals enable the membership – and the Board – to assess the success of the strategy?

*Also in replies to recent questions, “the Performance Strategic Group is in place to sign off strategy and key decisions as well as support and challenge” coaching strategy. Can you tell us who is on the PSG and how many times they have met and if minutes are kept? (This question was asked in September 2016 but not answered)

*Did the Performance Steering Group support the Head of Performance when – almost a year after the 2014 Games – he still had no performance plan in place? We have seen emails from both the CEO and Gary Coltman admitting in June 2015 there was ‘nothing on paper.’ How was this ever deemed acceptable?

*Is the Performance Strategic Group, still active? If so, who is on it and are its original terms of reference still in operation? If it is no longer active, what has replaced it to “support and challenge”? When and why did it fold?

Needless to say there are many more questions from disappointed riders and coaches. Given the small numbers of riders and a tiny talent pool of active racers in Scotland, it is unacceptable that there is so much disillusion among riders and coaches. In the light of ineffective coaching and an inappropriate strategy for ambitious Scottish riders, is the Board prepared to rubberstamp this sorry state of affairs, two years out from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games? Or will the Board act?

Postcript, November 28, 2016. At the Scottish Cycling AGM, held at the Hilton Grosvenor hotel in Glasgow on November 26, the delegates present declared themselves happy with the responses provided by Scottish Cycling in these matters and no further questions were asked from the floor.

*By way of useful clarification, the Scottish Cycling Performance budget has been cut by £60,000 for 2017 compared to previous years.