Almost three decades after Vanuatu established its National Olympic Committee and obtained IOC membership, the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) is poised to introduce cycling to its cluster of national sports federations.
Despite the perceived barriers a meagre ratio of one kilometre of paved road to every 1’000 inhabitants might impose (upon road cycling in particular), this tiny South Pacific Ocean island, population 250’000, is moving closer to becoming a UCI-affiliated national cycling federation and joining the Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC) which currently comprises four fully-affiliated members: Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Fiji.
According to the Oceania regional summary contained within the 2014 UCI Annual Report (released June 2015), the Vanuatu Cycling Federation (VCF) was granted provisional UCI and OCC membership in September 2014, allowing it to participate in sporting activities in advance of receiving full membership. [In the same summary, the UCI disclosed the OCC also endorsed the affiliation of the Fédération Tahitienne de Cyclisme as an associate member of the Confederation].
Oceania Cycling Confederation members listed on the UCI’s website (July 2015)
Despite the weight of UCI support behind the initiative, VCF has still not become a fully-fledged national governing body almost ten months after being granted provisional affiliation, and more than one year since VASANOC first announced the launch of its newest federation via Facebook in June 2014.
When approached by Cycling iQ for a status update, VCF Treasurer and spokesperson Pascal Guillet maintained “the status is OK (and) we did all papers with VASANOC”. When asked whether or not VCF would be up-and-running in time to send UCI-registered cyclists to the 2016 Oceania Cycling Championships, Guillet replied simply “yes, we can be affiliated in time”.
Full text of the 16.06.2014 news release from VCF below (and here):
“The Vanuatu Cycling Federation (VCF) is the national governing body for cycling. They should be recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport in the next coming weeks. As such, Vanuatu Cycling Federation works across all levels and 5 disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Race Cycling), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time. The VCF had its official launch on June 13, 2014 – 2pm at VASANOC. Along with their official launch announcement, the VCF unveiled their official logo.
This past January, a small group of cyclists met to discuss the creation of the Vanuatu cycling federation. As a result of the meeting a group of enthusiastic people have joined forces to propel the sport of cycling forward with the creation of the VCF. The VCF was created to help grow the sport of cycling and ensure cycling for the future. The time is right for all cyclists and supporters to join together and work towards cycling development in Vanuatu. The VCF mission is to develop, maintain, and support a network of cyclists and supporters of cycling and put Vanuatu on the world cycling map. The VCF will work to advance the interests of cyclists by developing and advancing policies with governing bodies and engaging in media outreach.
The vision of the VCF is for cyclists to support cyclists of all ability levels, and to showcase grassroots programs in order to develop young and new riders. Anyone who supports cycling, and wants to see its advancement, can join or be a supporter of the VCF movement.”