The new structure for the disciplines of the British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) was voted in at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The structure means that each discipline will now be responsible for its future direction. The vote to agree with the recommendation of the Board to accept the changes was pretty strong with 88% of those that voted in favour, with all the clubs voting in favour, 84% of the athletes also voting in favour.

The new structures for all disciplines now means that there is an urgency to get the discipline committees up and running quickly. Asked whether this meant that they would be in place for next season, Tapner was quick to explain that he and the Board would like to see them in place by November 2016.

For those wishing to be considered to Chair or be a Vice Chair of a Discipline Committee, nominations need to go to the Nominations Committee as soon as possible. Mark Lund, Board Member, was keen to emphasise that this was not a vetting committee but recognised that after having four people lead the Alpine, Speed and Telemark Committee in the last four years (Konrad Bartelski, Malcolm Erskine, Adrien Perry and Tony Trayner (with Perry taking over from Trayner after his sudden resignation in early 2016)), Lund was keen to point out that they are under pressure to put the right people forward for the members of Alpine to vote in.

With both the Chair and Vice being elected by the membership, some strong candidates have already come forward it has emerged. The two elected members will be joined on the Committee by the newly appointed Performance Director, who will sit on all Discipline Committees, and then they will bring in others who they feel will be best suited to develop the future of the discipline. There will be space for a cross discipline representative on the main BSS board as well.

The elected Chair then appoints up to four members of the Committee (athletes, retired athletes, coaches, TD’s)  – The BSS hope that the appointments are people who will drive the Discipline forward for the benefit of the athletes and they hope that the Home Nations will approve and back the appointments.  The new PD and the CEO are also voting members of the committee.

This Committee of up to eight can also co-opt on or all of the following: Another current athlete, A Performance Manager, A judge or TD, A Coach and / or A FIS representative.

The AGM saw the accounts accepted and the auditors retained for another year as well.

Rory Tapner started off the AGM announcing that it has been an interesting year for the BSS but with the statement “How do we do better for the athletes and coaches,” at the core of what the BSS does. Tapner is aware that they need to try to develop more athletes for podium level results, they need to broaden participation and identify more talent. He did recognise this as meaning that all roads need increased funding. The new initiatives announced by the BSS last week will all link into this.

The new discipline committees will be there ‘to provide a clear voice for each discipline,’ Tapner explained before the voting took place.

Alongside the new funding initiatives, the new structure provides positive news for the sport. Now the disciplines, alpine in particular, need to work as one to move things forward. With news of lottery sales down, UK Sport funding for winter sports will be under threat unless the holy grail of Olympic medals can be achieved.

Photo Zoom Agence