Following the appointment of high-profile Performance Director Dan Hunt in October 2016 and former CEO of Coutts, Rory Tapner taking the helm as Chairman, the UK’s national governing body has marked out a clear strategy working towards Great Britain challenging for world class and Olympic medals, not only in the Park and Pipe disciplines where they are already one of the leading nations, but in all skiing and snowboarding disciplines.
The first phase of the vision will involve following in the footsteps of GB Park and Pipe and putting in place a world-class coaching structure for each Olympic discipline. With these coaches, British Ski and Snowboard will develop the longer term strategic plans geared towards medal success. The plans will be based around identifying, supporting and retaining the best British snowsport talent and engaging them in sustainable, funded, high performance programmes aimed towards podium success at major international competitions and the Olympic Games.
Raising funds to bring this vision to reality will also be a key part of the strategy, with British Ski and Snowboard approaching fundraising in a number of unique ways. At the start of the season, the innovative British Snowsports Fund was launched. The Fund asks the UK’s recreational skiers and snowboarders to make a small donation to the country’s future Winter Olympians when they make a purchase with one of our confirmed industry partners. The scheme currently has 25 partners, including major travel companies and retailers. The British Snowsports Fund was launched alongside a new grant-making charity, the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, which will support young talented skiers and snowboarders as well as efforts to increase grassroots participation in the sports.
With British athletes already clinching five World Cup podiums, two X Games medals, and an Air + Style podium, 2016-17 has already proved a fruitful season for British Ski and Snowboard, particularly for the GB Park and Pipe team. And with the Alpine World Ski Championships already in full swing, and the Freestyle, Snowboard and Nordic World Championships on the horizon, there is still room for even more British snowsports success this season.
“We have a very clear plan of how we can work towards our long-term goal” said British Ski and Snowboard Performance Director Dan Hunt. “We are already one of the world’s strongest nations in the Park and Park disciplines, and we truly believe that if we can bring in the right coaching talent, and of course the funding, we can develop a world-beating nation across all snowsport disciplines, including those in which we currently only have a few athletes, such as Ski Jumping.”
British Ski and Snowboard Chairman, Rory Tapner explained the importance of sponsorship and fundraising: “We have got to where we are today with huge help from our principal sponsor Delancey, and of course from UK Sport and the National Lottery for our Park and Pipe athletes. Athletes, parents and friends also make financial contributions, but to try and become one of the best snowsports nations in the world, bringing money in to realise this dream is vital. We launched the British Snowsports Fund because we know skiers and snowboarders are passionate and want to support our elite athletes. We are also on a clear mission to bring in money from commercial partners and would appeal to any companies interested in supporting British snowsports to get in touch.”
And one year out from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, Dan Hunt is delighted with the current performances from British athletes across a range of disciplines: “This season has already been phenomenal for us, particularly with a World Cup win from Katie Ormerod, an X Games gold from James Woods and our first Alpine podium for 35 years when Dave Ryding clinched second in Kitzbuehel. We are confident that we can go to Korea in a year’s time and exceed the success we saw at Sochi 2014, and bring home more snowsports medals for Great Britain.”
Top achievements British Ski and Snowboard athletes – season 2016/17 (to date):
November 2016 - Katie Ormerod, 2nd Pleasure Jam, Dachstein
November 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 3rd Big Air World Cup, Alpensia
Novemer 2016 – Aimee Fuller, 4th Big Air World Cup, Moscow
December 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 2nd Big Air World Cup, Moenchengladbach
December 2016 – Billy Morgan, 3rd Big Air World Cup, Moenchengladbach
December 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 1st Big Air World Cup, Moscow
January 2017 – Dave Ryding, 2nd Slalom World Cup, Kitzbuehel
January 2017 – Jamie Nicholls, 2nd Slopestyle World Cup, Seiser Alm
January 2017 – Katie Ormerod, 3rd, X Games Slopestyle, Aspen
January 2017 – James Woods, 1st X Games Big Air, Aspen
January 2017 – Andrew Musgrave, 6th Nordic World Cup, Ulricehamn
February 2017 – Katie Ormerod, 2nd Air + Style, Innsbruck
For all the information on British Ski and Snowboard visit www.teambss.org.uk.
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