The way forward: Cycling Australia may follow the lead of other sports and select an outsider as its new figurehead. Photo: Getty Images
Cycling could follow swimming and look beyond the sport for the best person to steer it into a new age of improved governance, according to Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth.
Swimming Australia recently appointed America's Cup sailing legend John Bertrand as its president. And Hollingsworth has said a person of similar standing without a cycling background could be who Cycling Australia needs to fill the shoes of Klaus Mueller, who announced his resignation as CA president on August 24 and finished last month.
Changes to the CA leadership continued on Wednesday with the federation's announcement that its chief executive, Graham Fredericks, had also decided to stand down after 18 years in the job. Fredericks will leave the position on November 9.
The two resignations come in the aftermath of the Wood review into CA's operations. The findings were released in January, amid continuing ASC concerns about cycling governance, especially the proposed integration of representative bodies.
Cycling was rated as “low” in a "governance progress assessment' in an ASC report updated on Wednesday as part of its Winning Edge 2012-2022 initiative.
The ASC report acknowledged the sport's growing popularity, but said that progress in integrating the three bodies now representing it – Cycling Australia, Bicycle Motocross Australia (BMXA) and Mountain Bike Australia – had been "slow".
The report said the search for a president “over the next six months” to push that integration to its completion and other forms of change is “an urgent priority”.
On Wednesday, Hollingsworth, a member of the committee that will select the new CA president, told Fairfax Media: “We think a game changer is required. That doesn't have to be someone from outside the sport, but it probably does lend itself to be someone who can bring a fresh approach.
“We think that's someone who understands sport is critical, but we don't necessarily think it has to extend to someone within the confines of the cycling world.
“It is someone who understands sport and how it works, but also who has an outstanding commercial and governance skill set – a change maker who can get change through – and obviously a leader.
“That is the expectation, and if you look at those broad terms someone like John Bertrand for swimming, given the situation they found themselves in, is ideal."
Hollingsworth said that after the president was appointed the task of finding Fredericks' successor as chief executive would be left to CA.