Funding withdrawn for UK skiers and boarders
British ski and snowboard athletes have suffered another setback, following UK Sport’s announcement that their funding is to be withdrawn.
The news leaves Britain’s top racers without vital money to support their training. Three sports: skiing, snowboarding and ice skating will receive no cash from the UK’s central sport funding body.
The decision is a major blow to Britain’s most successful athletes, such as Zoe Gillings and Chemmy Alcott – although both women revealed that costs for training and travel far exceed the amounts received from UK Sport last winter anyway. Each of them had to supplement the money with private sponsors or their own savings.
But it is still shocking news for the British snow sports teams a year on from suffering the collapse of Snowsport GB just prior to the Vancouver Olympic Games. The decision to withdraw funds from these sports is part of a wider ‘no compromise’ approach that aims to distribute the money more fairly – in other words, focusing on those sports where we are more likely to achieve medals.
UK Sport believes that, based on recent performances, our ski and board athletes are unlikely to achieve winning positions in the next winter Olympics in 2014. They do stress that their decision will be reviewed annually; but with rising talent such as Jenny Jones and Zoe Gillings on the circuit, removing their funding could prove damaging to Britain’s young ski and snowboard stars struggling to keep their competitive passions alive.
While it may be bad news for our skiers and snowboarders, funding will actually increase to winter sports; but in women’s bobsleigh, skeleton events, curling and some paralympic events.