‘Modest’ increase in funding for Alpine athletes announced by BSS

With the issue of funding for Alpine having raised the eyebrows and caused consternation amongst the fans of the discipline, the news that a modest increase in funding for the top Delancey British Alpine Team racers is positive and significant news. This is something that the BSS (British Ski and Snowboard) should be applauded for fighting for and arranging. … 

Dave Ryding and Alex Tilley, the top two British Alpine athletes in terms of World rankings, have been handed central contracts and a slight increase in funding. Ryding, who scored two top twenty results and three more top thirty results in World Cup Slalom’s last season, and Tilley who scored two six point results that will see her start just outside the top thirty in World Cup Giant Slaloms this season, have both risen to the challenge set out by UK Sport in terms of searching for funding. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Ryding and Tilley will both receive Band A funding from the BSS.

Ryding starts the new season ranked 30th in the World Cup Start List standings though should he drop out of the top 30 in this list, his FIS point standing will see him drop down the start list such is the complex way that the World Cup start list is compiled.

Charlie Guest, Jack Gower and Charlie Raposo have all met the criteria for Band B funding, bursaries,  on the announced criteria. The amount each athlete in the two bands receives has been kept private by the BSS but the BSS declared “Direct athlete funding, either through programmes or bursaries, has been increased on a like-for-like basis from just over £140,000 to around £178,000. This is an increase of 27% for the current year and an increase of nearly 70% over a two year period.” This is to be applauded and they quite rightly thank their principle sponsor, Delancey for the help in achieving this.

In the wake of the collapse of the old Snowsport GB in 2010, athletes taking part in the many summer camps across the UK and out in Europe are now able to see that if they make the criteria set out, the support from the BSS will be forthcoming.

With a third level of funding also announced, this will give hope to those athletes coming up through the ranks that there is support available for them, should they make the grade. The likes of Max Baggio and Cara Brown, the Overall British Champions for Men and Women, will be looking to meet the top 200 in the wide criteria mark. Baggio currently is in the top 500 in all four disciplines with a best of 286 in Downhill though his slalom points show best with 30.49. Brown is ranked 200th in Giant Slalom. Brown will be looking to add to her World Cup starts this season having taken 36th in the Super G in Val d’Isere last season.

The future is bright and with this announcement, there is hope and encouragement for the alpine athletes. The BSS explained they ‘would like to provide more funding, there have been modest improvements to funding, they wish they could provide even more support.’

Results talk!

To read the full BSS article click here

Picture: Dave Ryding – Copyright Racer Ready – all rights reserved