Building a Cycling Olympic Champion in the UAE

Abstract

The ubiquitous need to develop a cycling culture and an Olympic champion underpinned the need to investigate the strategies to use to achieve the research objectives. The study investigated the approaches used to spread the culture among students form different schools including universities in the UAE. The study focused on the strategies used to build excellence teams by factoring elements such as financial planning, communication plans, internal organisation, legal representation, and strategic planning. In addition, different models were investigated such as the goals based model for developing and spreading the cycling culture and the role stakeholders played in the development of the cycling culture. Another area that was investigated was how to develop an Olympic champion from the people who had developed the cycling culture. A statistical analysis of a sample size of 310 respondents was used to answer the research objectives. The results showed that strategic planning, financial planning, training and development including how to cycle for competitiveness were recommended.

Introduction

The need to cultivate an excellent cycling culture to develop Olympic Champions among those interested in participating in Olympic Games in the United Arab Emirates has become an important problem to solve because studies show that the cycling culture is at the lowest level today (Alrawadieh & Johnson, 2012). Typically, cycling is a low impact activity that does not require a big concentration of participants and developing a cycling of such a culture provides the people with the ability to gain excellent abilities that are required to successfully participate in the Olympic Games and develop the required talent to become Olympic champions (Aldred & Jungnickel 2014). An investigation into the cycling culture of the UAE shows that the federation faces many challenges such as lack of training programs and cycling clubs in schools where learners, cyclists and those interested in the sporting event can register to acquire the necessary skills that could enable them to participate in the cycling events in the Olympic Games (Lentillon‐Kaestner, 2013). In addition, a big gap exists on those interested in the culture and the platform to use to spread culture especially in schools, universities, and the society. Here the logical development of cycling as a sports culture could lead to the participation of people of different ages and categories in the sporting events that ate hosted internationally.

However, to build a cycling Olympic champion in the UAE has many challenges and problems that need to be solved. One of the problems, which when solved could provide a framework for success is how to spread the cycling culture within learning institutions including schools, universities, and how to educate the society to accept the cycling culture by joining the program (Aldred, 2010). The second problem is how to build excellent clubs in the federation that can manage the cycling game and the competition that is held among the participants and the third problem is how to build an Olympic Champion using the learning institutions, and clubs based on a cycling culture if it is successfully implemented among the people. In addition to that, additional challenges arise on how to amalgamate the factors that contribute to the successful implementation of the program such as the sports law, sports management strategies, communication, marketing and sponsorship strategies and techniques to successfully achieve the objective of building a cycling champion.

Problems statement

Building a cycling Olympic champion in the United Arab Emirates is an important problem because the game does attract many students from the schools, universities, and the society in the UAE and it usually experiences a very low turnout. Here, the problem has been caused by lack of a cycling culture among the students in the learning institutions and fans to participate in the Olympic game. To solve the problem of the lack of a cycling culture among students and the society, a study was conducted guided by the following objectives:

Objectives

  1. To spread the cycling culture among the schools, universities and the society
  2. To build an excellence clubs and federation in managing cycling game and hosting competitions
  3. To develop an Olympic Champion

Research questions

  1. How can the cycling culture be spread to schools, universities and the society?
  2. How can excellence clubs and federation be built to in manage cycling game, and hosting competitions?
  3. How can an Olympic Champion be build?

Significance of the study

The study will provide a solid background for students in universities, schools, and fans on how to build the cycling culture to develop Olympic champions for the UAE.

Literature Review

Introduction

This literature review is an analysis and summary of the findings of different researches and articles on how to spread the cycling culture among the learning institutions such as schools and universities to build a cycling champion. The literature review was guided by the objectives of the study to solve the problem of building a cycling champion by inspiring and imparting knowledge on the fans and interested stakeholders on the cycling culture in the United Arab Emirates.

Spreading the culture of the game to schools, universities and the society

Many countries and sports professionals that have successfully developed the cycling game propose different methods to promote the cycling culture in schools (Horton & Parkin, 2012). Among the proposed strategies are to hold cycling training courses in schools and universities, establish the right routes to use when cycling, working with the right department who are responsible for road safety to guide the students undertaking the cycling classes, promoting the cycling events through events, providing the right facilities such as showers for those who have completed a cycling event to use, and the recommended use of cycling gear for the students when undertaking the sporting event. In addition, it is proposed that having leaflet campaigns provides further impetus to creating the cycling culture in schools, universities and the society (Lentillon‐Kaestner, 2013).

Research shows that most high school children have an interest in the cycling culture. For instance, in London it is estimated that 48% of the kids have a desire to cycle to schools and attend cycling events, but it is only 2% who actually do the cycling. Most of the parents who send their kids to school in countries such as the UK provide support for the kids by encouraging them to practise the art of cycling and to become excellent and fit to participate in cycling sports. In addition, a record number of schools in the UK support the cycling activities and are intent on encouraging students to use bicycles to cycle to school do to build a cycling culture. It is important to note that the cycling culture can be developed in schools by relying on the support of parents and teachers. Here, building the culture is a collaborative effort among the school, parents, and the society.

An investigation of the approaches used to build the cycling culture among universities in the United States shows that one of the approaches that has been widely adopted was to set up a group and a cycling event around the campus to encourage the students to adopt the cycling culture. In addition, the city where the University of Rutgers is located encourages the community to participate in cycling events by offering group rides that take the cyclists through Branch Brook Park. Here, the community and the university are brought together to share in the events by a cycling advocacy group known as the Brick City Bike Collective, which is based on Newark (Bromber & Krawietz, 2013).

A research study on how the Rutgers University builds the cycling culture shows that the administration encourages students to participate in the cycling events regularly. In addition, an article published to show how a university encourages the cycling culture states that the “university officials held city tours, built a new bike park and offered free loaner bikes to persuade students, faculty and staff to leave their cars at home,”. Another approach is to encourage students to share bicycles by encouraging them to sign up to become members of a bicycle sharing club. Here, the bicycle sharing program enables multiple users to get the experience of using a bicycle by renting it and returning it to where they rented it from. The rationale for sharing the bicycles is to encourage a widespread use of the bicycles that are available over the small space available at universities.

One of the case studies where a league was formed to encourage the society to participate more proactively in cycling was in 2013. The organization was very clear about the vision of encouraging the societies to actively participate in cycling by emphasizing on the benefits of cycling such as better health. However, the process encountered several challenges such as providing clear leadership and proactive involvement of the community in the sporting event. In addition, building the culture comes with many challenges that the parents, the staff, society, and stakeholders need to solve (Bowdin, O’Toole, Allen, Harris & McDonnell, 2006). The problems and challenges include the ability of the organization wanting to build the cycling culture in the learning institutions to structure the organisation of the sport, establishing the degree of autonomy of sports organisations, and integrating the regulation of sports organisations into the organization trying to come up with the training program to build the cycling sports culture in the United Arab Emirates.

Bicycle culture

Cycling culture is an important point to of reference especially for this study intending to build the culture in learning institutions and the society. The cycling culture is well developed in some countries that serve as case studies to learn from. One of such examples is the Amsterdam (Yeoman, 2004).

Amsterdam developed the culture of cycling among the society members based on the concept of urban development as a way of life. The underpinning factor to the successful adoption of the cycling culture was because of the successive application of the theory of social change. Here, the change in the social behavior of the people led to the successful implementation of the cycling culture was because of the fundamental change in the way people regarded the cycling culture. Research shows that the focus was on what happens when a person does the cycling (Xing, Handy, & Mokhtarian, 2010). It has been demonstrated that some people regard the sensory experience that the cyclists get from the cycling task motivates them to do the cycling. In addition, the symbolic interactions, the power struggle to be identified with the cycling culture shows that cycling is not only a tool for mobilisation, but an aspect of the competition, which is common for those who want to practise it as a sport (Rissel, New, Wen, Merom, Bauman & Garrard, 2010).

In theory, bicycle cycling is based on one’s individual experiences, the material practises that one undertakes when practising to cycle, the culture of mobility under which cycling games are classified, and the meaning of cycling to the life of an individual. In addition, the perceptions that people develop towards the cycling as a game adds to the desire to get involved in the cycling culture. On the other hand, those people who regard cycling as a material practise hold to that position by arguing that cycling is a ‘mutually constitutive’ art. However, it is argued that the mobility culture in the context of cycling game is practiced in different institutions that are sanctioned by legal and mobility regulations in the game (Skinner & Rosen, 2007).

One of the material perceptions about cycling is that it creates opportunities for those practicing the game to uniquely experience different environments, an experience which is referred to as ‘sonic register’.

Maximum intensity cycling

Maximum intensity cycling is one of the areas that have a lot of significance for students and members of the society wanting to train to excel in the game. Typically, an organization intending to build a cycling club or the cycling culture among the students and other stakeholders needs a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism involved for participating in the games (Steele, 2012). It is one of the areas that organizations or clubs and trainers have to examine and integrate into their training curriculum to increase the chances of become excellent in the game. The reason is that road cycling lasts for 10 to 500 minutes, when the performers need to show a high degree of endurance because 90% of the tasks dependent on the aerobic metabolism of the body. However, when it comes down to the details of the performance of the cycling athlete, three factors are brought into play to determine the effectiveness of the athlete. The elements to consider include the lactate threshold, cycling economy, and the maximal oxygen consumption. Here, ‘‘maximal strength training’’ is referred to as the strength of the training that one undergoes through using repetitions, loads, and muscular hypertrophy. On the other hand, it has been established that trainees wanting to become champions can go through reduced endurance development because of the use of strength training. However, it is possible to combine strength training with the maximal endurance training to improve the work economy of a cyclist (Sulayem, O’Connor & Hassan, 2013). Evidence on the use of a combination of endurance training and strength training has been found in other sports disciplines such as soccer and cross-country skiing. However, by combining the two approaches to training non skilled cyclists to become excellent in cycling could demand in excess of 37% of maximal aerobic power.

A study conducted with 14 cyclists on how cyclists performed in four days per week for 12 weeks showed that the cycling economy could improve drastically depending on the type of training the people went through and the time spent for the training. It was established that those people who had trained to become cyclists could exert the maximum strength and use more power in cycling as compared to those who were not trained. On the other hand, it was established that trained subjects were better at competition that those untrained subjects. Here, the researchers concluded that the type of training was necessary reach the maximum cycling economy (Mangan, 1992).

One example was the use of maximal training to increase the cycling economy of a trainee wanting to become a cycling champion. Part of the areas that were focused on includes rate of force development and the time required for a trainee to reach the exhaustion at maximal aerobic speed when cycling. The training approach under investigation was to determine the strength and effects of the maximal training approach on the optimal activation of motoneurons and muscle fibers of an athlete. The most essential areas that were looked at include the resistance of the cyclist and the effects of the braking force that the cyclist applied on bicycle. However, the study noted an extension of the exhaustion at maximal aerobic of the cyclist. In addition, it was realised in the study that the cyclist body weight does not change when subjected to maximal training, leading to the conclusion that it is one the best training methods to adopt for new and experienced learners (Melnyk, Cooper & Hartley, 2011).

Building an excellence clubs and federation in managing competitions

Several strategies have been proposed to develop excellent clubs and federations to manage cycling games have been developed to raise the competition bar for the participants and host the cycling events. One of the approaches is to use strategic planning methods and the second is to invoke the law to ensure that the internal organisations of the clubs are managed according to the sanctions of the law (Pucher, Thorwaldson, Buehler & Klein, 2010). Another proposed approach is to ensure strategic planning, financial planning, and an excellent communication plan to ensure that successful implementation of the plan. In summary, the areas of focus include:

  • Strategic planning
  • A communication plan
  • Internal organisation
  • Legal representation
  • Financial planning

Strategic management and planning

Strategic planning is one of the approaches that could be used to build the cycling clubs within different learning institutions such as schools and universities and to attract fans and participants in the game. Typically, the whole process is based on the need for the students from different institutions to become competitive in the game by instilling the cycling culture in them. In theory, strategic management provides the overall picture on how uniquely the culture can be implemented in the institutions by reflecting the culture of the people of the federation in the United Arab Emirates and become competitive in the sport (Rein & Shields, 2007). On the other hand, the strategic planning process could include the elements that reflect the step by step process of implementing the culture in the learning institutions and among the people to attract them and make them develop a positive cultural orientation towards the cycling sport.

Strategic management and models

Management is an important component that any leadership must embrace in building excellent clubs that provide support for the students learning to become Olympic champions. In theory, the strategic management process provides the direction and approaches necessary to distinctly make students in the learning institutions and the society to uniquely accept the culture of cycling to enable them develop Olympic champions, which is the ultimate level of achievement in the cycling game. One approach that has been suggested to spread the cycling culture within the clubs is to create new opportunities for students interested in participating in the cycling games (Fullagar & Pavlidis, 2012). In theory, the approach includes strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. In addition, research indicates that the overall elements such as the internal and external environments are some of the most critical factors that affect the implementation of the culture in schools and the society.

In theory, the strategic management process includes identifying evidence that can be used to evaluate the internal capabilities of the group coming up with the strategic planning process of identifying the internal and external capabilities of the organisation trying to build the culture. In addition, it includes selecting from alternative solutions to identify the best solution to use to build the cycling culture to implement the culture using the instruments that were identified in the strategic management plan.

Basic sports models

Different strategic management and planning models have been suggested for clubs in public and private institutions involved in sports. Here, the models are appropriate for the implementation of culture change in the cycling sport depending on the context of application. Among the strategic planning and management models include the basic strategic planning, which is referred to as the first model that can be used to build a cycling culture within clubs in any institution. In most cases, such a model is applied for small and busy organisations without having a strategic a management plan in place to act as an implementation framework. However, such a model can be used for the first time for those clubs within institutions that do not have experience in the implementation of the cycling culture. The approach provides the institutions with the ability to conduct the planning program without any further reference to the management framework. In this case, the planning function is carried out by the top level management of the organisation involved in spreading the cycling culture among the students, community members and any other person interested in the cycling game (Furness, 2010).

The model is characterised by the mission statement, which in this case involves a clear statement of purpose that describes the reason for setting up a cycling club or building the cycling culture among the students and the community members. One of the critically important characteristic of the mission statement is that it keeps on changing with time. In other words, the mission statement does not remain the same but changes with time to reflect the achievements that have been made with time. On the other hand, once the mission statement has been described in explicit terms the basic purpose for setting up a cycling culture, it is crucial to define the goals that are consistent with the mission statement, which shows the goals that could provide a framework for pursuing the mission or purpose statement. According to the constructs of that define the model, the strategic approaches that could be used to achieve the mission statement and the underlying goals.

Researchers argue that an action plan has to be defined and integrated into the strategic framework for implementing the strategic objectives and allow the organisation to assess the degree to which the objectives are achieved. The entire implementation framework is followed by an assessment of the success of the plan based on an evaluation of indicators of success that were already defined in the framework. However, some of the weaknesses of the model can be ameliorated by use of an issue based model, which is also referred to as a goals based plan.

Goal based model

The goal based model can be option to adopt if the basic model does not meet the requirements for building the cycling culture within the clubs. On the other hand, the model can be used to fill the gap that might exist on the basic model for better and effective implementation of the culture. Typically, the key elements that are not defined in the basic model include a strategic analysis using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of the internal and external environments in building the culture among the students and the community or fans. On the other hand, it has been proposed in academia that the issue based model can be adopted once the basic model has been used and the organisation has evolved into higher levels of excellence, which demand a more advanced strategic approach to deal with the objectives and goals defined in the basic model.

It is recommended that the issue based model can enhance the process of pursuing the goals and objectives by designing the main strategies, vision/mission statements, establishing the action plans, updating the mission and vision statements, and developing a plan that can be used yearly to build the cycling culture. On the other hand, there is need for a budget that the agents can use to pursue the goals and objectives. Gradually, there is need to ensure that a follow-up plan has been defined and set up to evaluate and update the strategic documents that are used to implement the plan. However, any gaps in this model can be bridged by using an alternative approach known as model alignment.

Model alignment

Model alignment is a process where the organization takes steps to ensure that the model is aligned with the mission and vision statements of the organization. The rationale for the adoption of the model is to fine tune the strategies that have been defined to educate the people and the students to develop the cycling culture that could ultimately lead them to become cycling Olympic champions (Coakley & Pike, 2009). In addition to that, the model can be used by an organisation to evaluate the resource requirements for the program, determine what is working well and what is not, determine the adjustments to make, and include the adjustments into the strategies for culture development (Coombs, 2014).

Stakeholder approach

Sports events are very important and highly esteemed by most organisations that depend on such events for advertisement purposes. Here, most organisations want to sponsor such championship games because such games have very big fans and companies that associate with them create good images for their products and services. Here, stakeholders vary according to the level of sponsorship they want to provide, the level of involvement, and the financial capacity (Davis, 2012). In context, the stakeholder sponsorship programs can be on the silver, platinum, or the gold levels. Each level for a champion attracts different preferences and is associated with different financial support. Here, the stakeholders provide funds for various activities depending on the level of sponsorship and financial commitments. The aim is to ensure that some of the events are advertised using the stakeholder’s names. However, it is important when establishing any relationship with the stakeholders to be able to assess the impact such as stakeholder will have on the performance of the club. Sponsorship can be very strong, string, or medium depending on the level of financial commitments and association with the club members (Emeis, Mara, Schlarbaum, Möbius, Dähnke, Struck & Krom, 2010).

Strategic planning

The strategic planning process for the clubs is important because it enables the clubs to develop the right strategies of developing the Olympic champion by the involvement of others. Once the strategy has been implemented, it will be subjected to a strategy analysis to determine the competitiveness of the strategy and the strategic advantage of implementing the strategy to establish of the strategy leads to the development of highly competitive cyclists (Evans & Lindsay, 2012). Here, the strategy must be the appropriate one to enable the cyclists to develop sustained competitive advantage.

Strategy formulation

Strategy formulation to develop a cycling champion by developing the cycling culture is critical because it enables the team leadership and club members to work towards a vision that has been defined by the organisation. Once the strategy has been formulated and implemented to provide the framework for implementation of cross functional decisions, it becomes necessary to ensure that the strategy worked well by conducting an evaluation of the strategy (Alsharekh & Springborg, 2012). Here, intuition and analysis play a significant role in enabling the team leaders and other club members to make good strategic decisions. Once the team members have agreed and been able to adopt to the new change requirements because sports events are demanding, each member is motivated to play a significant role in enabling the execution of the already established strategy. The reason is that every member of the organisation is able to make positive contributions to the strategic advantage of the development of the clubs and its team members. It is important for each member to be committed to any difficult situations that arise to enable them excel and become recognised. Here, there should be put in place mechanisms for dispute resolution and a healthy balance between the leadership and the members when such issues arise (Evans & Lindsay, 2012).

The key performance indicators include an assessment of the degree to which each team member of clubs members are able to freely communicate and share ideas among themselves, ability to engage in dialogue among the members, a deeper understanding of the roles, responsibilities and tasks of each club member, and a greater level of commitment in developing the cycling culture so that the gaol of becoming an Olympic champion is achieved. Here, the greater commitment is for each member getting engaged to pursue the objectives and to work hard to implement the strategies (Hassall, 2012).

It has been established that institutions that have created strategies and followed them create more profits and become more efficient because of the ability to prepare for unforeseen situations. In addition, a significant number of non-financial benefits are likely to accrue with the use of strategic management approach in developing the cycling culture (Hassall, 2012). Some of the benefits that have been gained by clubs that have used strategic management concepts include ability to identify opportunities that can be exploited to develop a string cycling culture among the university and high school students without excluding the fans. On the other hand, it is possible for the leaders of the clubs to identify management problem that might arise when handling management issues. In addition, embracing strategic management enables coordination and control of culture building activities to reduce and minimise any issues that arise when doing culture building activities (Amaize Mady & Benson, 2011).

It has been stressed that strategic management allows for the implementation of an internal and external framework for effective implementation of individual activities and encourages forward thinking. Here, the club members can become successful, it is important that the strategic management process can be effective if the strategic management process is made as simple as possible, non-routine, foster learning, and should always be changed to stimulate team membership activities (Hill, Jones & Schilling, 2014).

Critical success factors

The critical success factors for formulating and implementing strategies has been discussed and researched extensively to enable leaders or managers to succeed in sports. In addition, it has been established that using good policies, developing good ethics, ensuring that the strategic management should not be taken as a formal process, disregarding qualitative information, becoming open minded, making the process simple and no routine, and avoiding to make the strategic management bureaucratic contributes to the strategic management of the clubs.

A communication plan

Communication is an essential component that enables the coordination of different tasks and activities that are necessary for the clarification of information within the clubs for the development of a cycling champion. It has been established that communication is necessary because it enables the learners to develop the sense of what they should be doing and how to do it, creates a sense of transaction between the learner and the coach, and enables the team member involved in the process of developing the Olympic champion to work cohesively together. In addition, the coach and the team members can exist in small or large groups. In that context, it is important for communication to be made effective so that understanding can be enabled through conversation, good dialogue management, and debate.

A communication plan provides the strategic advantage of the leadership of a team or a program in clarifying issues, identifying risks, and ensuring that the right meaning is communicated to the right audience. Here, a communication plan becomes effective if the objectives of communication are used to create the right framework for effectiveness. Communication can either be internal or external. Internal communication takes place among the team members and the trainer coach, while external communication takes place among the team leaders and the stakeholders (Hogan & Fisherkeller, 1996).

Observations on communication show that for communication to be effective, it depends on the context of the idea to be communicated and to whom the idea is being communicated. In addition, the communicating party is obliged to share communication in an effective way to assure the recipients of the meaning of the communicated idea. Here, learners work as teams and the development of such teams and their performance depends on the clarification of ideas such as what is to be done and how it should be done (Horton & Parkin, 2012). In addition, communication enables the communicating parties to be able to update stakeholders on all activities that are to be carried out in the process of developing the Olympic champion. In addition, communication becomes necessary because it enables the learner to develop a sense of belonging to the group developing the Olympic champion (Horton & Parkin, 2012).

It is also possible to use communication as a tool not only to enable communication among the learners or those intending to become Olympic champions, but among the organisations, schools, colleges and universities where the learners come from. In addition, the communication context occur among large groups because learners from different institutions, which include schools and universities consists of different students with different abilities and clarifying roles and training needs is very important.

External communication happens more especially when the group developing the strategy to develop the Olympic champion has to share ideas with different stakeholders, schools and universities on their intentions and how stakeholders can assist in making contributions towards the stakeholders. Here, the external environment requires that messages are communicated in a way to elicit action. Here, the communication activities include one to one communication, communication among small and large groups, and other stakeholders that might want to share ideas on how best to develop the Olympic champion.

One of the strategic approaches that have been suggested to use to communicate ideas in sports is to identify fans, stakeholders, sponsors, and the authorities responsible for managing and supporting the programs. The rationale is that sports require the parties concerned communicating with different people and organisations such as sports organisations, the media, fans and other members of the spots community. Evidence of good communication abounds among football clubs and other soccer teams that have caused them to develop and use excellent communication tools (Kitano, Radu, Shaaban & Flake, 2000).

The most important communication principles to adopt and use includes the need to identify the goals because different trainees have different goals and understanding what they need is necessary to provide the best training possible to grow and become an Olympic champion. In addition, the sender and he receiver of information must be on the same level of understanding so that the messages sent have meaning and can be acted upon. Here, the needs on cyclist are communicated in the right way and with the correct words to ensure that the correct action is taken by the trainee. For instance, when communicating with the trainee on the training requirements, then the message has to be communicated properly to make the trainee become sensitive and act as required.

Internal and external analysis

Internal and external analysis of the environment including the stakeholders, the SWOT and the PSESTLEL analysis provide the strategic information about the competence of the clubs and the effects of interacting with the external environment. In addition, clubs usually develop competitive advantages when the strengths have been established. Here, the core elements of a successful strategy is an establishment of the external and internal threats, which include economic, political, legal, governmental, demographical, environmental, technological, and other competitive trends (Lian, Zhu, Xiang, Li, Yang & Wang, 2010).

Event management

Events are important occurrences that happen in sports and event management is a good strategy to ensure that such events are well managed and organised. In theory, event management is the “act of organizing something that takes place in a given place and at a given time”. Such a scenario requires that the people responsible for organization of events should have good knowledge on the coordination and management of resources, the management of staff, and the technologies required for cyclists to successfully run the cycling event. It has been established that not all sports have the competition element in them. However, for cycling events, experience shows that they attract a lot of fans and preparing for such events is necessary to ensure successful planning and execution. In their, there are several areas that have to be focused on to make the events a success. In addition, the level of competition, the kind of event, the competitors, the purpose of the competition, and the stakeholders contribute a significant amount of information in making the right decisions on how to run such events (Wexler, 2012).

The whole idea is to develop Olympic champions by instilling the cycling culture in the minds of the students and the fans. Here, the cycling culture can be strengthened by using the events to demonstrate the need to embrace the cycling culture among the students and fans. The idea is to develop a string cycling culture among the students and fans with the aim of creating an Olympic champion from among the participants (Wexler, 2012). Here, the events not only involve the participants, but the fans, competitors who sometimes work in teams, officials who work to direct the teams an supervise the events and who are part of the intrinsic component of the management, the entourage who are the men and women who give the competitors company who sometimes have the interest as an indulgence, and the suppliers who provide the equipment and other tools necessary to make the events successful. In addition, the suppliers in most cases are in direct contact with stakeholders. Researchers show that event managers play important roles because they provide the direction necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the event (Wexler, 2012).

It has been established that many clubs and organizations that have been successful in event planning and event management because each element in the event planning and management is taken into account seriously. Here, several elements such as event sub-systems provide the models that are followed in establishing the right events. Event sub-systems include event owners, who consist of a wide selection of cyclists, the public authorities who take the responsibility of providing the facilities necessary arrangements for the vents to be successful, and the organizing committees that lead to the establishment of strong relationships among the parties interested in the cycling events. In the provision of services, it is necessary to ensure that the quality and costs of the services are commensurate with the requirements of the events.

Financial planning

Financial planning is an important component that is necessary to ensure that the money available for the events is adequate for the events. In addition, it has been suggested that various elements must be factored to ensure that the budget is within the financial abilities of the stakeholders. The core elements to count include the direct costs that usually are incurred in such events. The direct costs include purchases that are incurred when the events are being prepared, the cost of renting the places to live when the events are taking place, the costs of transporting the people, the equipment, and the insurance costs. In addition, additional compensations are required for the staff and any other people who are paid for participating in the activities (Alrawadieh & Johnson, 2012). Some of the overheads that are suggested include the salaries, stationery and other supporting components, special catering and other services that might be required to make the events successful. In addition, there are direct costs that have to be factored in the development of the events, which includes the costs of purchasing the equipment, the cost of renting the houses where he people are housed, and other finances that are incurred to make the events successful.

On the other hand, it has been suggested that financial planning that consist of people who take responsibilities of different tasks should be coordinated very well. One of the tasks includes controlling the money that is earned from the events by ensuring that the money earned during such an event is accounted for. In addition, it is important to audit the financial transactions so that those who take the role of stewardship for the money are held responsible for the way the money is spent. In addition, in the vent that financial issues arise, it is important to engage someone with the right skills to audit the financial statements to ensure that the correct financial information is divulged for auditing (Amara, 2010).

Researchers argue that when trying to create a budget, it is important for the club members to ensure that the income potential of the club is established. The rationale is to ensure that the financial purpose, budget, and the fund raising strategies are properly understood and put in place. However, to be successful in raising the finds, it has been suggested that a fund raising officer should be appointed with the right skills to influence the donors to give sufficient funds for the events. Here, it might be possible to use popular magazines, partnering with intramural sports programs that have hosted events that have been very successful and sometimes hosting Club Sport Competition. The inter-club competitions are important in enabling the club to raise funds for major events. Here, the most important work is for fundraisers to actively participate in raising funds for the main events. Other areas to focus on include the use of youth programs to raise funds, interaction with Internet companies, on-line efforts to establish friend and stakeholders in the process of raising funds (Bryan, Grandgirard & Ward, 2010).

Developing an Olympic Champion

To develop an Olympic champion would require several commitments in different areas by the trainers and the company or club sponsoring the champion. Different countries have different program that underpin the performance of cycling champions. For instance, Great Britain has a Great Britain Cycling Team that aims to improve the performance of the athletes involved in the sport. The cycling team is performance based and the members who are identified as the best athletes undergo different support stages before they are confirmed to be champions. The first stage is the training one goes through the Olympic Podium Program (OPP). The program provides support for the highly skilled cyclists and hose wanting to develop their skills to match those of the high notch performers. In addition, any one training to become excellent in riding should be full time in the program (Burke, 2003). The next step is to offer support for those intending to become excellent cyclists. On the other hand, the program provides support for those aged between 15 and 17 years to register and train as cyclists by becoming Olympic apprentices. However, it has been shown that different issues exist to consider when making an attempt in building an Olympic champion. One of them is how to develop resilience in the person learning to become the Olympic champion.

Developing resilience

Developing resilience is part of a program that provides esteem to those who intend to participate in world championship program because winning the Olympic medal is the pinnacle of success even though it is very demanding. In addition, it is impossible to meet the demands if one is not trained on how to solve the problems and face the challenges that happen on the way. Among the approaches suggested for the development of resilience include developing a positive personality. Research studies shows that Olympic champions have several positive characteristics, which include optimism, proactivity, openness, and the spirit of competiveness. Here, such characteristics provide the person with the ability to optimise the motivation by working hard to prove their worth to the supporters and fans. In addition, developing resilience is important because it enables one to develop the abilities to be able to compete with others in a competitively challenging environment. The rationale for resilience is the need to combine and balance work and sports activities to ensure that one still remains competitive. On the other hand, it has been suggested that the strength and confidence of a sportsman are important to enable them to compete with others in the fiercely cycling games. Confidence has been established to be a very important element in today’s world for sportsmen who want to become champions in their area of specialization. Confidence underlies the ability for the sportsman to prepare well for any competition, increases self-awareness of the competition ahead, enables the competitor to learn quickly when being coached, and makes one agreeable with other team members. Examples abound on how great sportsmen have used confidence as a tool to positively develop themselves and increase their level of competence within the teams.

Some researchers argue that maintaining focus when on the training and development program makes one to become very efficient in one’s sports activities. Here, focus is geared towards the processes that lead to the successful execution of sports activities and not on the outcomes (Bonham & Koth, 2010). An example is where one gold medalist affirmed that by maintaining focus on the activity he was doing, he was able to overcome the pressure that he was experiencing, making the outcome very successful. The athlete affirmed that by focusing on the tack being done, he was able to be sensitive to motivation that enabled him to build their performance and overcome any inherent weaknesses.

Athlete and participant development

Several examples exist of the strategies for the development of athletes to become champions. One such approach was that was done by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). The association established that different areas of focus should be given due attention to support the development activities. Among those are establishing relationship and partnerships with different organizations. Creating the links with other organisations can be successful if the organization managers to those responsible for the program are able to advise the target students and participants of the ‘building a champion’ program are able to advise them to create club standard programs that provide a framework for the development of the athletes, provide the required standard opportunities for cyclists to develop their abilities, enable the leaders and the coaches to be able to organise the training, and manipulate the modality, intensity, and volume of training programs for the institutions that the development program occurs. In addition, it has been recommended that building different partnerships with other organizations, creating agreements, and establishing accountability frameworks. On the other hand, the competitions are a tool that enables the learners to develop the skills necessary to become Olympic champions. One of the approaches necessary to achieve competitive skills to link the learners with other clubs so that they develop the abilities to cycle as Olympic champions is develop competition calendars that have the same schedule as those of regional competitions, increase the number of events that are hosted, link competition to the development of skills, and to focus on the development of youth skills in cycling abilities.

On the other hand, the development of skills cannot be successful if the coach is not given a chance to train the people in their cycling skills. It is imperative that a coach be identified who is able to address the skills gaps that arise for the learner to become competitive besides the organization providing him the support required to make the make the training a success. On the other hand, the need for the acquisition of facilities is important because successful development programs depend in part availability if good facilities for training and development purposes.

Some of the areas that have been recommended that need to be focused on to develop a successful program include the ability to focus on the training on stamina, speed, strength, skills, sustenance, psychology, suppleness, and structure. Research shows that boy and girls have a wide window of opportunity for training and development, and investing in their development leads to the development of good champions. In addition, the stage that boys and girls go through is the period of growth that allows the development of the physical and mental faculties that enable one to become competent in their cycling tasks. In addition, young athletes are able to read and comprehend what is taking place around them and that forms the foundation for the lifelong involvement in the cycling games.

Competitive Cycling Skills

Competitive skills are fundamental for the development of a sports champion. Some of the cycling skills to be taught the prospective champions include the ability to negotiate corners correctly without slipping. The skill involves taking the right aerodynamic position when cycling to negotiate corners based on the criterium and triathlons. For instance, it is very important for the rider to be able to rotate the inside hip when taking a corner. Here, the cyclist must be able to take the line through corner so that they can effectively negotiate the corners. In addition, it is important to train the cyclist on how to effectively negotiate a corner by ensuring that an effective traction is made on the ground with the bicycle wheels. Here, one of the strategies is to ensure that the cyclists bring the bicycle under control by applying the brakes, backing under control quickly, before negotiating the corner. The strategy enables the rider to straighten out and before bringing back the bicycle back to the line of travel. In this case, pedaling through corners is important to ensure that there is considerable clearance between the roads and the pedals. In addition, when climbing, it is important to ensure that the cyclists climb a hill at the recommended speed. Researchers have established that climbing with a spins of 65-90 rpm per minute is appropriate to exploit one’s efficiency. It is important to ensure that the recommended positions are taken when changing gears or holing the drops to ensure that the rider does not compress their diaphragm, which could lead to the loss of power while making it hard to breath.

On the other hand, it has been established that keeping a positive attitude is critical for a successful rider. It is important to note that even those who are best at riding feel the pain when climbing. When climbing, it is important to bend the elbow between 60 and 70 degrees for steep, out-of-the-saddle climbs. It is also important to flex the abs to enable the stomachs muscles to support the body in cycling, keep the knees at the right positions and angles to deliver the right strokes, align the hips to take advantage of gravity, and keep the chest at the right position to ensure ease of breathing.

When descending, it is appropriate to use the right skills to make a competitive descent such as keeping the hands on the right positions, ensuring the legs are kept at the right positions, and ensuring that rules on pedaling efficiency are followed. Other techniques include spinning with the right techniques to ensure that the right energy and torque are applied on the wheels.

competitive spinning
Figure 1: competitive spinning

Other competitive skills include using the Isolated Leg Drills – Single Leg to improve the pedaling efficiency. Here, the rider is required to ensure optimal consumption of oxygen for the body. In addition, it has been suggested that when a cyclist maintains the right cadence of the body, they are able to supply the right amount of energy to the body muscles and especially the legs to ensure they are able to sustain the required effort. Some of the recommended drills that support the efficient development of cycling abilities include Smooth Spinning, which allows the spinner to be able to make the spinning legs effective and efficient. Here, it is possible to reach a level of 115 rpm without stopping. In addition, other techniques include time trialing to enable the cyclist develop strong air resistance, Elbows In, knees In, Tilting the Pelvis, and use of the Isolated Leg Drills – Both Legs.

Building a cycling culture

However, to be build a champion, other issues such as building the culture provide the foundation for building the cycling champion. For instance, a school in Australia endeavored to build a cycling culture among the students and established the importance of establishing a pilot program that was run as a prerequisite for the development of the actual program. The results of the program showed that the students or club members should be informed of the mission and vision statements within the members of the club. Here, it has been proposed that the vision statement provides direction and hope on where the organization would like to be in the future. A club that has every intention develop a cycling champion must bear in mind the need to develop the right vision statement that reflects the desire to be somewhere. It is possible to win all club members to work hard towards the success of the club by setting the direction of value creation to create coherence among the team members. Here, the underlying elements for the success of the team include motivation, clarity of the vision statement, and the feasibility of the vision statement becoming true.

Here, the vision statement communicates the vision of the club, the core values that each member that each should embrace so that the members feel empowered to work towards the goal of becoming excellent cyclists. It has been suggested that when one works by accounting for the history of how other people become excellent cyclists, it is possible to learn many things such as how and what they did to become excellent cyclists. Learning from the past is crucial in enabling learners to avoid making mistakes that were made by others in the past. In the process of creating the cycling culture, researchers recommend that such a culture should be aligned with the core values of the cycling club. Members should assess themselves to determine the level of innovativeness, level of collaboration, and the ability to advance those values that are consistent with the vision statement of the club. A study in the elements that are important for fulfilling the vision statement shows that club leaders should engage themselves to “build open and honest relationships with communication” (Campbell, 2011, p.2). In addition, each member is required to keep the culture and evolve it as changes dynamically occur with time. In addition, the culture should be authentic because it should spring from the organizational mission and vision statements. Here, it is important for the team members to take responsibility for each action they do and be able to uphold the shared values and goals. In addition, each team member should act in an innovative way to develop the cycling skills to grow in the abilities to carry out the cycling activities.

Other researchers suggest that a good culture can be developed if the members are taught to prioritize a vision that describes each member as being a successful cycling champion. Here, communication plays a significant role because each member is made aware of the shared values and beliefs on cycling and team membership of the clubs. Here, the core values include integrity, honesty, focus on establishing good relationships, establish good leadership and management of the club, developing good strategies to engage the members in emotional attachment to the club, ensure the management of the club and those whole lead to have a commitment to the values of the club, and developing a positive attitude among the members towards the club.

Diverse contributions on developing the culture that is appropriate for the clubs includes suggestions that state that a leader should define the culture, live the culture, measure the impact of the culture, reward members who are obedient and who uphold the culture, change an existing culture if the culture does not become consistent with the need to develop the skill to become a champion, establish the cultural gaps that exist within the team members, and establishing the culture to get a strong foothold (Buttner, Cruz, Stetzenbach, Klima-Comba, Stevens & Cronin, 2004).

When defining the culture, it is important for the team leaders and the members to work together to establish the beliefs such as how participants a done even fans can build strong attitudes towards the cycling events. Once a strong attitude has been built, it becomes important to teach the culture by identifying what the members might need and what might not be required. Each member must be subjected to a specific orientation, the formal and informal way of doing things, and to tell stories that are consistent with the development of Olympic champions based on successful case studies. In theory, when people hear nice things especially sports events that are associated with successful people, they capture the story quickly and always want to practice what has been taught. The story keeps resonating in the mind and every athlete would like to become equally successful. However, the most successful element is to live the culture so that others follow what they have been taught. Living the culture is similar to practicing the culture so that the leader’s words always match with the deeds. Those who lead the club members have to live what they teach the members. For instance, if a person is required to practice regularly, the leader show an example by taking the lead to practice and identify the areas to focus on in practicing and how to do the practical lessons.

Research Methodology

The study was based on both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms that provide the data necessary address the research objectives. The qualitative paradigm was used as a research approach to collect qualitative data that was obtained by a systematic review of the literature and content analysis of the findings of different researchers on Cycling Olympic Champion. Several benefits of qualitative research contributed to the need for the use of the paradigm. The key advantages include ability of the researcher to conduct an in-depth review of the phenomena of building the cycling culture, relies in subjective information, explores the use of new theories, answers questions that are value laden, and provided the researcher with the ability to address complex questions (Attride-Stirling, 2001).

The quantitative paradigm was used to provide results on the systematic review of literature on the research objectives because the approach provided the researcher with the ability to analyse subjective information. In addition, the paradigm was not limited to variables that could be rigidly defined, and was able to answer several questions which were value laden. The paradigm enabled the researcher to use different theories to answer the research questions allowed the researcher to use the natural settings where the study was conducted. Other advantages included providing a holistic view of the situation, ability to interact with the participants and collect their views, and enabled a descriptive approach to the collected data (Berg, Lune & Lune, 2004).

On the other hand, the quantitative paradigm was based on the use of the questionnaire as a tool for data collection. The questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data that was analysed using SPSS software to enable the researcher address different descriptive statistical results. The benefits of using the questionnaire included the possibility of collecting practical data, the validity of the questionnaire could be established, and it was possible to quantify the data and compare the results with other research papers (Berg, Lune & Lune, 2004).

Population and sample size

The target population consisted of students from different institutions of higher learning such as universities and secondary schools. However, because the size of the population was big, it was difficult to conduct the research and cover everyone. To address the problem, it was decided that a sample be obtained that could represent the entire population of students and fans interested to become cycling champions in the UAE (Berg, Lune & Lune, 2004).

Sampling strategy

A probabilistic sampling method was used to determine the sample size because a sample that is too small cannot provide adequately reliable results and a very large sample is difficult to analyse. The approach was the right one to use because the people to collect the data from were known because both male and female were included from the universities, schools, and fans. The simple random sampling method was applied because it was less time consuming and covered the target population well (Berg, Lune & Lune, 2004).

Findings and Anaysis

The sample size was 310 people from different backgrounds including both male and female from the universities, schools, and the community who were interested in participating in cycling programs to develop the cycling culture and practise to compete in the Olympic Games with the aim of becoming Olympic champions.

Table 1: Spreading the cycling culture
Mean Variance Correlation Multiple Correlation Cronbach’s Alpha
Training courses 20.9515 26.972 .181 .224 .587
Teaching road safety 20.8014 25.762 .298 .261 .558
Support activities 21.8938 29.581 .020 .197 .616
Encouragement 21.9623 28.220 .182 .193 .584
Facilities
Involve society
20.7979 26.004 .261 .105 .568
Experience 21.2945 25.267 .361 .228 .543
Perceptions
Training
19.4325 22.439 .443 .585 .513
Participating mechanism 19.7740 22.024 .425 .587 .516
Maximal training 22.1784 28.511 .339 .243 .569
Access to skills 21.3537 26.030 .211 .107 .582

The statistical results for the first objective shows that the participants should be subjected to training courses such as introducing cycling programs to the schools, universities or to the community. All the items have a scored the Cronbach’s Alpha of above 0.500, showing a significant amount of internal consistency.

Table 2: Spreading the culture

spread the culture Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 268 86.7 89.0 89.0
Agree 26 8.4 8.6 97.7
Neither gore nor disagree 3 1.0 1.0 98.7
Disagree 2 .6 .7 99.3
Strongly disagree 2 .6 .7 100.0
Total 301 97.4 100.0
No response 8 2.6
Total 309 100.0

Table 2 shows that 89.0% of the respondents strongly agreed that to become successful in developing the Olympic champion, it was necessary to spread the cycling culture within the universities, schools, and among the fans.

Table 3: Planning

Planning Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 81 26.2 26.4 27.7
Agree 85 27.5 27.7 55.4
Neither agree nor disagree 60 19.4 19.5 7.9
Disagree 67 21.7 21.8 96.7
Strongly disagree 10 3.2 3.3 100.0
Total 307 99.4 100.0
No response 0.6
Total 309 100.0

The planning competent was rated as one of the tools that could enable those who start the project of spreading the cycling culture to be successful. Here, 27.7% of the respondents agree with the planning component, 55.4% agree with the need to establish the plan, and 7.9% neither agree nor disagree on the need to establish a cycling plan.

Table 4: Communication plan

Communication plan Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 21.1 68.3 69.0 70.6
Agree 46 14.9 15.0 85.6
Neither agree nor disagree 25 8.1 8.2 93.8
Disagree 7 2.3 2.3 96.1
Strongly disagree 12 3.9 3.9 100.0
Total 306 99.0 100.0
No response 1.0
Total 309 100.0

Table 4 shows that 70.6% strongly agree that a communication plan is crucial and 15% agree that a communication plan is necessary and the rest of the respondents do not agree. The result shows that the majority of the respondents support a communication plan (above 85%).

Table 5: Internal organization
Internal Organization Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 215 69.6 70.5 72.8
Agree 43 13.9 14.1 86.9
Neither agree nor disagree 27 8.7 8.9 95.7
Disagree 8 2.6 2.6 98.4
Strongly disagree 5 1.6 1.6 100.0
Total 305 98.7 100.0
No response 1.3
Total 309 100.0

Internal organization was seen as a very important component for the clubs and the ones running the program of spreading the cycling culture with 69.5% strongly agreeing and 13.9% agreeing. However, the rest of the percentage does not support the idea of internal organization. The reason for the disagreement could be because some of the respondents were students who did not have a good grasp of the meaning of internal organisation.

Table 6: Legal representation

Legal representation Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 64 20.7 21.0 21.3
Agree 98 31.7 32.1 53.4
Neither agree nor disagree 62 20.1 20.3 73.8
Disagree 58 18.8 19.0 92.8
Strongly disagree 22 7.1 7.2 100.0
Total 305 98.7 100.0
No response 1.3
Total 309 100.0

The results on table 6 shows that 20.7% agree that legal representation was necessary for the development of the cycling culture and 31.7% of the respondents agreed that legal representation was necessary. The rest of the respondents did not agree nor had no knowledge of the need for legal representation.

Table 7: Financial planning
Financial planning Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Strongly agree 117 37.9 38.1 39.4
Agree 84 27.2 27.4 66.8
Neither agree nor disagree 50 16.2 16.3 83.1
Disagree 46 14.9 15.0 98.0
Strongly disagree 6 1.9 2.0 100.0
Total 307 99.4 100.0
No response 0.6
Total 309 100.0

Table 7 shows that 37.9% of the respondents strongly agreed that financial planning was a strong prerequisite to a successful culture building program for and 27.2% agreed making an aggregate percentage of those who agreed about the need for financial planning to be over 64%.

Table 8: Building culture

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 260 91.2 79.2 79.2
Agree 30 4.6 14.6 93.8
Disagree 4 3.1 3.1 96.9
Strongly disagree 4 3.1 3.1 100.0
Total 309 100.0 100.0

Table 8 shows that who agree that to become an Olympic champion, it is necessary to undergo the cycling culture building culture. Over 91.2% agree with building the cycling culture and a small percentage did disagree.

Table 9: Building an Olympic Champion
Resilience Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 196 63.4 65.6 65.6
Agree 57 18.4 19.1 84.6
Neither agree nor disagree 26 8.4 8.7 93.3
Disagree 3 1.0 1.0 94.3
Strongly disagree 17 5.5 5.7 100.0
Total 299 96.8 100.0
Missing System 10 3.2
Total 309 100.0

Table 9 shows the responses on building an Olympic champion scored 63% responses from those who strongly agreed that the process must be undertaken for one to become an Olympic champion. On the other hand, the
Table 10: Building the champion elements

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Resilience 117 37.9 38.1 39.4
Athlete and participant development 84 27.2 27.4 66.8
Competitive Cycling Skills 50 16.2 16.3 83.1
Building a cycling culture 46 14.9 15.0 98.0
No response 6 1.9 2.0 100.0
Total 307 99.4 100.0
Missing 0.6
Total 309 100.0

Table 10 shows the percentage responses on the elements for building the Olympic champion and 37.9% strongly agree with resilience, 27.2 % agree on athlete and participant development, 16.2% agree on competitive cycling techniques, and 14.9% agree on building the cycling culture.

Discussion and Conclusion

The study has shown that to build the cycling culture among schools and colleges in the United Arab Emirates requires the commitment of different resources and the people to make the program successful. It is evident from the study that building a cycling culture depends on different factors such as the ability to involve the society, develop training programs which showed a correlation of 0.224. Here, a high correlation showed a strong relationship with the variable in the cycling culture. Here, perceptions and participation showed the strongest correlation while other variables such as teaching road safety, support activities, access to skills, and other elements showed low correlation. However, showing a low correlation does not mean that the elements have weak effects, but work independently in making the program of spreading the cycling culture effective. On the other hand, over 86% agreed that the culture has to be spread using different means for the program to be successful and only a small percentage did not agree. Other areas that received a lot of support were planning (81%), communication plan (68.3%), internal organisation (69.6%), legal representation (51.7%), and financial planning (63.4%). In such cases, planning, communication, internal organisation, legal representation, and financial planning enable the program managers to be well prepared in implementing the program. Here, it is necessary for the program managers to identify several sponsors who can provide financial support. In addition, the right communication plans have to be put in place so that messages communicated to the audiences have the correct meaning and any conflicts within teams and among team members are solved amicably. On the other hand, the study showed that building an Olympic champion was strongly supported by 65.1% of the respondents. Among the approaches that were recommended to develop an Olympic champion was resilience. In addition, most of the elements recommended to observe when developing the Olympic champion in the process of developing the cycling culture include resilience (39.1%), the athlete participation (27.2%), competitive cycling skills (16.2%), and developing a cycling culture (14.9%). Here, each element makes a significant contribution to the development of the Olympic champion. In conclusion, the study shows that the elements necessary to develop a cycling culture have been identified and adhering to the elements could help those responsible for implementing the program to successfully develop the cycling culture and the Olympic champion.

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