Cycling Club faces funding issues, looks to gain sponsors

March 4, 2013

Samantha Morley
smorley2@uccs.edu

The Cycling Club has been part of UCCS for about five or six years, with the number of members growing each year. But now it’s having trouble financing club activities.

“Our budget is pretty small. The majority of our funds are coming from out-of-pocket,” said Jason Lupo, Cycling Club president. “This year we weren’t able to get the full $3,000 we wanted from the school, from the SGA, to run the team.”

The average cycling season costs between $10,000 and $15,000. The club received $1,970 from the school, which primarily covered track nationals.

The group won two national titles during the trip. “It was a successful trip, but that just about ate up almost all of our funding,” Lupo said.

SGA allocates $3,000 for each eligible, recognized club – which includes a faculty member and a certain number of members, among other qualifications. Unrecognized clubs may only receive $1,000.

“I know all the club sports are having the same issue – whether it’s rugby or club soccer,” Lupo said. “We’re trying to resolve it with some of the people at the Rec Center and trying to get more funding to try and figure out how to better distribute that [money].”

The team consists of 16 members, four to five times more members than previous years.

While the increase in members helps provide some money, it almost immediately goes toward clothing. The $150 dues include a jersey, sweatshirt and hat. Optional clothing is available and costs extra.

USA Cycling requires members to be in UCCS gear, pressuring cyclists to purchase additional clothing. “The majority of our guys are spending anywhere from $225 to $400 for clothing,” said Lupo.

UCCS does not provide funding for clothing.

Members may also need to pay for race fees. Entry costs are about $25 each per race. The club races two to three times per weekend for eight weekends, totaling about $400-$500 for racing fees alone.

“Our team is so big this year that there is no way we possibly could – even with $3,000 – cover everybody’s entry costs,” Lupo said.

To ease funding troubles, Lupo and other club members are striving to gain sponsors. “It’s really hard because our team is so new. Sixteen [members] is still a relatively small number … and we don’t have the results that a lot of the other teams do,” he said.

So far, the club has encouraged companies such as Bicycle Village, H2Overdrive, RockTape, DanceArt Academy and Novatec Wheels to become sponsors.

While having a relatively small number of cyclists, members point to their aspirations, such as Cycling Club member Madalyn Godby, who aims to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

On Feb. 6, Godby won a bronze medal at the 2013 Pan American Continental Track Championships for her 500-meter time trial, setting a national record with her time of 34.300.

“[Godby] has been doing really well and had some really good success,” Lupo said. “She got some medals at Pan Am Games and just set a new American record. Hopefully she’ll make the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.”

The lack of funding is putting stress on all of the club members. “It’s been a really tough road this year. There’s been a lot of dissatisfaction with the team,” he said. A few members have quit due to the stress of not having enough money for the club.

“The school is happy that we are there, but I wish we had more help from them,” said team member Brad Tyra.