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GB Snowsport Criticises Funding Cut From UK Sport

Alpine skiing has had its best season ever yet is not deemed investible for World Class Programme Funding. Cross-country and Para Nordic are also affected. GB Snowsport has described it as ‘deeply disappointing’ and is appealing.

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UK Sport made its announcement of funding for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic and Paralympic cycle last month.

£11.9m was awarded.

At the time GB Snowsport ‘acknowledged’ the funding and said it ‘marks a welcome reinforcement of UK Sport’s backing of Britain’s skiers and snowboarders’.

However the organisation went on to say ‘we cannot hide our disappointment that we have not yet persuaded UK Sport to back our athletes to the levels we have seen in the recent past’.

Now it has gone further.

“We  have had to communicate the deeply disappointing news to our Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic athletes that UK Sport have deemed the three disciplines to not be investible for World Class Programme funding,” said GB Snowsport in a statement.

“While all three disciplines have been named for potential funding at national squad level, and UK Sport have ringfenced a minimal amount of programme funding for the Men’s Slalom programme and for Para Nordic, neither investment level is sufficient to sustain elite performance at the levels required.”

Image c/o GB Snowsport

It comes after the most successful season ever for GB’s slalom team with a World Cup victory  for Dave Ryding in Kitzbuhel and other podium success from The Rocket.

Dave RydingCharlie GuestBilly MajorCharlie RaposoLaurie Taylor and Alex Tilley have already been named in the GB World Cup squad for next winter.

Guest, Major, Raposo, Tilley and Ryding all had their best ever season in 2021/22.

Dave Ryding is now calling on people to support the GB alpine team in its quest for funding.

 

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A post shared by Dave Ryding (@dave_ryding)

Dave Ryding. Image © PlanetSKI

Dave Ryding. Image © PlanetSKI

GB Snowsport says the funding gap will mean a cut back with reduced costs throughout the organisation.

It is seeking greater efficiencies within its programmes and actively reaching out to other commercial partnerships.

UK Sport makes its decision on the chance of sporting success and has deemed other wintersport disciplines as more likely for Olympic success at Cortina-Milan 2026.

“We fundamentally disagree with the decision not to invest further into those disciplines, particularly at a time when athletes in all three areas have been delivering some of Britain’s greatest ever results on the snow,” it continued.

It is now appealing.

PlanetSKI followed the performances of Dave Ryding closely last season and met up with him for an extended interview in Obergurgl in the Tirol after his podium success in Garmisch-Partenkirchen towards the end of the season.

As he reaches the end of his career Dave Ryding is keen that the alpine slalom team builds on his success, and that is now under threat with reduced funding and commitment.

Image c/o Kitzbühel Tourisme

Image c/o Kitzbühel Tourisme

If you have a view feel free to comment on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

There has been some early reaction on the GB Snowsport Facebook page with some criticism of GB Snowsport:

Margaret Watson Meenagh – Terrible news I agree with Robin too many involved with no real purpose and it’s the athletes who end up paying for this

The teams have put their all into their sports and to be dropped in the way it was carried out is shocking . I hope the teams can get funding elsewhere and continue to thrive.

GB snowsports hold your head in shame
Susan Barton – Such a shame for the athletes, their teams and supporters.
Judith Wright – The slalom athletes ought to get enough funding, surely? It can be justified from grassroots level upwards.
Clair Henry – How sad and short sighted of uk sport .
Tracey Gilllick McKernan – I find this frustrating, sad, shortsighted and an absolute shame.
Helen Boyd McCluskie – Tragic they need more support and investment
ames Vincent – Shameful.
British Biathlon – Gutted to hear this 🙁
Robin Martin – What sad news. Perhaps UK Sport needs to look in a mirror. Too many administrators with inflated salaries all eating away at the sporting budgets. Team GB’s snow sport athletes and their support teams are performing to the very best of their abilities and now have the proverbial rug pulled from under their feet. DISGRACEFUL. If every skier and snowboarder booked on a 2022 / 2023 winter sports holiday was to donate £5 to the funds through their tour operator….
Ross Green – Alpine not investible?! Dave Ryding is winning in World Cup. Two young athletes are hot on his heels in slalom and Charlie Raposo scoring points too. You’ve also got two women scoring top 30 results. It’s never been better! GB Snowsport present the programme to UK Sport for them to make a decision on its viability, so how can you not make that seem investible??
Nigel Smith – GBsnowsport have been letting the teams and athletes down for years. VG,et all hang your heads in shame. But hey it’s ok cos they have huge salarys or jump ship to other organisations to ruin! Best results in history how can your own governing body not put a positive case/spin on it to UK sport?
Stuart BrownAlex Tilley and Charlie Guest as well. Tilley getting 13th at Solden, then breaking her leg, fighting to get fit for the Olympics, still with metal in her leg and not really fit finishing 22nd and then not racing the rest of the season. If that doesn’t show commitment, what does??
TimBO MSc A whole abundance of talent coming up – Also demographics have changed in last decades and we now have 10’s of thousands of Brits living in Tier 1 Snowsports nations – Plus real talent on the dry slopes giving access to all.

James Brown – Indeed very very sad for the athletes involved.Unfortunately it was also very predictable based on the GBsnowsport strategy for Alpine.

I think it would useful for GB Snowsport to really consider what it was they did wrong that resulted in this sad position and then to hopefully put in place a strategy that can deliver success in the future.

See here for the full post from GB Snowsport:

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Image c/o PlanetSKI

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