Clignet and Farina add to expanding number of women leading in cycling
November7, 2022 — As part of its mission to advance more women in cycling, Cynisca Cycling enrolled two women into the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) annual Sport Directors Training Program held at the UCI World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland, this past week. Robin Farina and Marion Clignet joined nine other women out of the courses approximately 80 participants.
“We learned a lot, not only from the course, but from our classmates, who brought a wealth of knowledge and backgrounds,” said Clignet, Cynisca’s sports director. “The collaboration and contacts with other team leaders from around the world was priceless.”
Launched by the UCI in 2010, the course is held once a year at the end of the road racing season, and the ensuing exam is now compulsory for anyone working as a sport director for a UCI World Team or UCI Professional Continental Team. Although not yet compulsory for UCI Women’s Teams and UCI Continental Teams, the course and exam are highly recommended.
The role of a pro team’s director sportif is complex, and the course covered topics to expand the participants’ knowledge and skills, including:
- Role of the DS
- Managing a Pro Road Team
- Organization of the UCI
- Sporting control of road racing
- Team registration
- And more!
To encourage more women to attend, the UCI offers scholarships for women only, and Robin Farina was fortunate to receive one. The women’s scholarship programme for sport directors was part of the UCI’s push to continue increasing the professionalism of women’s cycling. “I hope the scholarships allow even more women to take part in the future,” said Farina.
“Cynisca Cycling offered to send me to the course last summer before we were even considering my coming on board with the team,” said Farina, who recently joined Cynisca as operations director. “The team’s mission to advance more women in the sport through education and opportunities is a great fit with my personal goals. The team is new and a non-profit, so the UCI scholarship was extremely helpful.”
Although completion of the course and the sport director’s license are not yet compulsory for pro women’s continental team sports directors, Farina and Clignet agree that the training can only help.
“We can’t wait to put this knowledge to use,” said Clignet. “Now, we’re off to prep for our team’s first training camp!”