By 2015 the Sports Directors of all ProTour and Professional Continental cycling teams will be required to possess a management diploma endorsed by the International Cycling Union (UCI). The announcement of the qualification requirement came as the UCI launched the inaugural "Turning Passion into Performance" programme on Wednesday.
"The programme launched today represents an important step forward for the UCI ProTour with its objective of promoting excellence in cycling over all five continents," said the UCI's ProTour manager, Alain Rumpf. "The UCI Academy's initiative offers an opportunity for directeurs sportifs to become even more professional and in this way will allow cycling as a whole to continue to progress."
The UCI said by 2013 prospective sports directors of ProTour teams would require the diploma programme, with their colleagues at Pro Continental squads given until 2015 to complete the training.
Rumpf told Cyclingnews on Thursday that the deadlines also applied to those currently serving as sporting directors on professional teams. "That is why we have given a six-year window, so that every directeur sportif will have the opportunity to complete the course," he said. "After that, all new directeurs will have to have completed it before being issued a managers licence by the UCI."
The first of the training programmes will begin in November and is being conducted by the UCI's own education division, the UCI Academy, and Manchester Business School. Participants in the programme will be trained in both UCI regulations and specific team management skills. Topic covered will include sporting, technical and anti-doping regulations, as well as budgetary control, athlete supervision and human resources.
"The UCI Academy actively supports initiatives that contribute to the long-term development of cycling around the world," said Chris Solly, the Director of the UCI Academy. "The training programme for sporting directors is a further expression of the quality training provided by the UCI Academy, not only for athletes but also for team staff."
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