(In response to this article http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/hosking-to-apologize-for-remarks-to-mcquaid)
Hosking’s comments are born of a personal frustration and I don’t believe are helpful to women’s cycling. She should be putting forward reasons FOR a minimum wage not launching profanities at a single person in Pat McQuaid, as he is not the only person complicit in retarding the growth of womens’ sport. This situation is not specific to cycling, or indeed sport, and is a reflection of a society which is still coming to terms with gender parity across the board.
Being paid to ride a bike is, in my view, very much a privilege, not a right as many cyclists (male and female) seem to think it is. We are in the entertainment industry, not saving starving children or curing cancer. Demanding to be paid is like petitioning for a minimum wage for balancing a ball on your head – its only valuable if someone is willing to pay to watch it.
Despite that, the positive spillover benefits of cycling and sport should be used as grounds to trial a minimum wage or basic funding, to produce a high grade competition that will hopefully then be seen to be worthy of increased corporate support. For young women to see cycling as a viable career is the best way to grow the sport and create role models as the Cadels, McEwans and O’Grady’s have done for young boys.
Cycling has been used to great effect to promote causes such as Cancer research funding, Depression Awareness and Child protection as well as general health and well-being in the community. For cycling to lead the way in supporting womens’ sport would demonstrate the power of the sport to change the attitudes of society instead of merely reflecting them.