Alpine Skiers Kick Off at Snowboard and Freeski Funding Boost

On Friday we reported on the Team GB Freeski and Snowboard team’s funding boost, bringing their UK Sport income total to £4.89 million. Like we’ve said many times in the past, it’s remarkable what the British snowboard scene has achieved internationally despite the relative lack of readily available mountains and a shoestring budget, so we’re stoked on the extra cash that’ll soon be getting put to use by the likes of Jamie Nicholls, Rowan Coultas, Katie Ormerod et al.

Less stoked on the recent developments are the Alpine Skiing crowd, specifically some vocal few members of British Ski & Snowboard (BSS). Upset that ski race funding is being cut (after years of success?) in favour of non-lycra clad sports they are planning to call for a vote of no confidence in their current management.

Cutting funding to the park and pipe teams would mean less chances for faces like this. We rest our case.
Cutting funding to the park and pipe teams would mean less chances for faces like this. We rest our case.

Part of the argument they are proposing is that some of the park & pipe team that went to Sochi hadn’t technically met the strict BSS qualification goals, whilst the alpine team was stripped back to just Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding. However, that decision led to six top ten finishes in freestyle overall which may have proven that a relaxed attitude breeds better results.

However, this shouldn’t really be of too much concern – the funding figures are based on past results and according to UK Sport “the Alpine skiers do not have a realistic chance of medal success or even competing for a place on the podium at a Winter Olympics.”

Plus, the movement is in part being led by Malcolm Erskine, the ex-chairman of BSS and Nigel Farrage equivalent of British snowsports politics who was recently fired from his post, in part for this delightful email to a member of the British Olympic Association: ”

Are you actually a member of the BOA’s legal team or do you just make the coffee?

His argument for cutting funding to the successful freestyle teams in favour of the unsuccessful alpine racing team is a bizarre one, claiming that “we need Alpine to do well to feed outwards to Park and Pipe and it is so short-sighted to write off Alpine skiing.” In WL‘s humble opinion this is like saying that increasing polo funding will lead to a better English football team, as they’re both played on grass.

Brits abroad.
Brits abroad.

Anyway, we’re still stoked on the added funding and aren’t worrying too much about it potentially getting cut back already. But if you’re really concerned please follow this link and you can become a full voting member of the BSS.

What do you reckon? Is the new funding for the Freeski and Snowboard team fair? Or should we be giving some of it back to the ski racers? Let us know below.

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