UK Sport have announced the introduction of up to £348,450 of funding for British skiing and snowboarding in the run up to Sochi 2014.
With the collapse of Snowsports GB in the build up to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, British skiers and snowboarders have had to self fund their attempts to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics. This news will be welcome to the like of Zoe Gillings and James Woods, who are medal contenders at the games.
The new funding is available for preparation for the next winter games and will be spent on areas such as competition, snow training, non-snow training, special medical treatment and physio costs.
This is game-changing news for the athletes who will benefit," British Ski and Snowboard Chief Executive David Edwards told BBC Sport.
Edwards went on to say: "The athletes have worked incredibly hard to get to their current positions... We are delighted UK Sport shares our point of view. This has greatly enhanced the opportunity for success and increased the chance of our British athletes bringing home medals. "
The Sochi 2014 games are a great opportunity for several British athletes to pick up medals, and this funding will hopefully help. The UK has its strongest line-up of winter sports athletes in quite some time: Zoe Gillings came 8th in the boardercross at the last Winter Olympic games, James Woods picked up a medal at last years European Winter X-Games, Jenny Jones has won multiple Winter X-Games gold medals and Jamie Nicholls' stock is rising in the world of snowboarding all the time.
UK Sport will review the current funding offered in September, before committing further funding. Once they have assessed the sports' organisational development and performance progress they will decide if further funding will be made available for the rest of the build up to the Sochi 2014 games.
Hopefully the likes of James Woods, Aimee Fuller and Jamie Nicholls can pick up some good results at this month's European Winter X-Games, which will help persuade those involved that both the ski & snowboard slopestyle disciplines offer real medal hopes in the next Winter games.
Source: BBC Sport
Written by Stephen Adam