TO use the Scottish vernacular and quote Scotland’s most revered poet, Rabbie Burns: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley.” I wonder if when he wrote that did he have the Scottish weather in mind!

After many months of planning, ensuring that every last detail was meticulously organised, creating strong media interest and gathering together some of the best cyclists from all parts of the globe, The Women’s Tour of Scotland kicked off this weekend. They tempted some of the best professional female cyclists to take part and we also had Scotland’s biking queen, Katie Archibald, named as Scotland’s team captain as she was joined by teams from more than 20 different countries. The only thing that they didn’t bank on and couldn’t control or organise was of course the weather.

A lot of thought had gone into this tour not only for the race itself but also for the coveted yellow jersey which would be awarded to the winner. It was made from recycled plastic bottles and fashioned in the traditional race yellow with a Scottish twist – a saltire design in blue and purple. The organisers also took pride in the fact that this inaugural race was brought to Scotland before a comparable men’s race and ensured that the financial rewards were equivalent to that of a male race.

This flew in the face of the recent Forbes’ female athlete rich list which revealed seven of the 10 best-paid sportswomen are earning less this year than they were in 2018. The full list also highlighted that it was only female tennis players who were bucking the trend and that whilst there was a total of 15 sportswomen who made approximately £4.1 million in 2019, it estimated that roughly 1300 male athletes achieved that income.

This is not a problem that we will solve overnight. We still have a long way to go and have many barriers to break-down and hurdles to jump.

On a brighter note, there are just a handful of spaces left for the 2019 SW/S conference, The Power of Sport. If you want to attend visit