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More devastating news for women in sport.

The budget cuts are at it again with another big cut for women’s sport.

Cycling Australia have confirmed that they’ve decided to ‘suspend’ their development program for up-and-coming female road professionals. The confirmation comes as part of yet another onslaught of budget cuts that seem to only be affecting women. And again – finance is the excuse reason.

Kevin Tabotta, Cycling Australia’s boss has told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) that it’s not about gender discrimination – and that the program was cut last Saturday with a hope that it will return.

It’s a devastating cut for women’s cycling.

“The program has been suspended until further notice … and purely for financial reasons,” Tabotta told the Sydney Morning Herald.

But the decision has shocked some of Australia’s female cycling elite.

“I was shocked about this,” Australian cyclist Rochelle Gilmore told SMH.

“I worry that the fact there’s no carrot dangling there for them means we could lose a lot of  women.”

The program that has been culled was an AIS-funded development program that trained female cyclists intensively for six months in Europe. It gave the athletes an unrivalled exposure to what it’s like riding on an elite racing circuit. It was an invaluable experience that has now been stripped from aspiring female cyclists.

Gracie Elvin.

Before the cuts the training program had already been heavily reduced from six months to six weeks, but at least the girls were gaining some world stage exposure. Now – nothing, zip, nada. It’s sad. It’s a place that has made the likes of Australian cycling greats Sara Carrigan and Oenone Wood.

Facebook page by Destroy the Joint has taken action against the cuts – petitioning for people to send their own messages to Cycling Australia.

The responses have shown a lot of people’s anger toward the cycling organisation.

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It’s another backward step for women’s sport. And not a great way to begin the new year.

So let’s get behind the women and support the future of women’s cycling. Join the conversation above and let Cycling Australia know what you think about the budget cuts.

Because women deserve the same opportunity as the men – so let’s join the conversation and make sure that happens.

What do you want to add to the conversation?

And in other sporting news this week…

– The Dandenong Rangers beat the Canberra Capitals in their WNBL game on Sunday. The Rangers are currently sitting in third place, and have become a strong contender with only six rounds left in the season. It was a nail biting game with the final score reading: 89-84 at the AIS Arena.

– Network Ten are broadcasting the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August this year. It’s a big win for women’s sport and for Netball. The station will stream all of the matches with some of the more vital games being shown live. Such great news for women’s sport.

– Australia has taken out bronze at the Roller Derby World Cup in Texas this week. They managed a shock win over Canada with a final score of 197-128. The World Cup had 30 countries competing from around the world. Well done to the girls.

–  In Rugby, the Australian Women’s Sevens team have just missed out on taking the Sevens title during their final game in Dubai this week. New Zealand came out on top. We’re still very proud of our girls.