Two groundbreaking fundraising initiatives set up last autumn to support British ski and snowboard athletes have awarded their first set of grants to nine British snowsports athletes, both at development and senior levels, as well as an additional grant to British Ski and Snowboard’s world-class coaching programmes.
The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, established to support young skiers and snowboarders, and the British Snowsports Fund which sees British Ski and Snowboard work with the UK snowsports industry to ask recreational skiers and snowboarders for a contribution to help the UK’s future Winter Olympians, were launched last October.
These first set of grants, totalling £16,000, confirm the importance of the innovative new fundraising initiatives implemented for British snowsports and the vital role they will play in supporting British Ski and Snowboard’s vision to become one of the top five snowsport nations in the world by 2030. These initiatives sit alongside a number of other fundraising avenues being used by British Ski and Snowboard, including individual philanthropic support and corporate sponsorship.
The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, a grant making charity which supports young snowsports athletes and programmes, ensuring financial constraints don’t prevent talented athletes from succeeding, has made its first grants to five young athletes. The grants for the selected athletes, who were chosen from a group nominated by the home nations governing bodies and British Ski and Snowboard, will specifically enable them to make progress that would not have been possible without the support of the Foundation. The athletes will use the financial support for activities such as attending training camps, or for travel to competitions.
The five athletes who have been awarded funding from the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation are:
Emma Peters, Ski Cross, 19, Tyne and Wear
Fin Bremner, Freestyle Snowboard, 18, Aberdeen
Lexi Rowlands, Freestyle Ski, 13, Chatham
Luca Mai Lane Hopkins, Freestyle Snowboard, 14, Swansea
Owen Vinter, 15, Alpine, Glasgow
The British Snowsports Fund works with the UK snowsports industry to ask recreational skiers and snowboarders to make a small donation when purchasing their ski holiday or when buying kit and equipment. These donations will help athletes throughout their careers, support programmes that benefit elite athletes, and activities that encourage grassroots involvement in the sports.
With five months to go until the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, grants have been made to four athletes on British Ski and Snowboard programmes, and will be used to boost their preparation for the Games or their efforts to qualify. There will also be an additional grant awarded to the British Ski and Snowboard world-class coaching programme to enable newly hired coaches across all the snowsports disciplines to support the athletes ahead of the Games.
The athletes who have been awarded funding from the British Snowsports Fund are:
Andrew Young, Cross Country, 25, Huntly
Laurie Taylor, Alpine, 22, Basingstoke
Maisie Potter, Snowboard Cross, 20, Caernarfon
Molly Summerhayes, 20, Sheffield
Rory Tapner, Chairman of British Ski and Snowboard said: “We are proud, as a National Governing Body, to be innovating new ways of raising funds to support our athletes and programmes. As we work towards achieving our vision of the UK becoming one of the top five snowsport nations in the world by 2030, we will continue to work to find ways to fund the sport. I’d like to say thank you to the industry and their customers for their support of the British Snowsports Fund.”
Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation said: “On behalf of the Trustees I am thrilled to be able to award our first grants. Our focus when allocating the grants has been to work with the athletes for whom our support will make the greatest impact, and we look forward to following their progress over this coming season. I would like to thank our generous donors who have made these grants possible, and would welcome any other gifts which we will use to support our athletes.”
Eleri Lane, mother of Luca Mai Lane Hopkins, said: “I am so grateful for the grant that the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation has awarded Luca Mai. Every parent wants to help their child fulfil their potential and make their dreams reality. This grant will help towards Luca Mai’s travel and training in Austria and enable her to compete in European competitions this coming season, and enable me to worry a little less financially.”
Andrew Young said: “The British Snowsports Fund is a fantastic way of supporting the future of British snowsports. It allows elite athletes like myself to have world class programmes and focus on the sports aspect rather than finances. The financial support it offers will help British athletes compete on the world stage, and give them the confidence that their programme is matching the best teams in the world.”