WILL YOU PAY EXTRA FOR SKI AND SNOWBOARD ATHLETES?

British snowsports organisations seek funds from UK's recreatonal skiers and snowboarders for GB's rising stars and elite skiers and snowboarders.

Do you know it takes over 10K annually for training, equipment and travel to fund a 13 year old snowboarder participating in the Home Nations Academy programme? For an Alpine elite skier taking part in a British Ski and Snowboard Europa Cup programme it's more that £35.5K.

Although the government, via UK Sport, funds a team of 14 snowboarders and freestyle skiers who are judged to have the potential to win medals at the next two Winter Olympics, all other snowsports athletes from the disciplines including Alpine, Cross Country, Ski and Snowboard Cross, Aerials, Moguls and Ski Jumping as well as Park and Pipe do not receive ANY UK Sport/ National Lottery funding.

So can you help?

Two initiatives, The British Snowsports Fund and The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, aim to bring in additional funding to grassroots projects, to the rising stars of skiing and snowboarding and to elite British athletes, which alongside current funding will help spearhead the medal ambitions of British snowsports ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The British Snowsports Fund is targeting UK's recreational skiers and snowboarders, asking them to make a small donation when they make a purchase from one of the confirmed industry partners. This is the first time that a scheme of this scale has been launched in UK snowsports, and funds raised will go to support Britain's future Winter Olympians - from those on the cusp of qualifying for PyeongChang right through to kids who are just entering their first competitions, as well as to projects that support increased participation in the sports.

Confirmed partners are AMS Management Services, AMS Rentals, Ben's Bus, Butler & Wilson, Crystal Ski Holidays, Element Ski School, Ellis Brigham, Esprit, Inghams, Le Ski, Mark Warner, Meriski, Ski Bartlett, Ski Club of Great Britain, SKISET, Ski Total, Ski Weekends and Stanford Skiing.  

The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation is a new grant-making charity which will provide financial support for talented young skiers and snowboarders. Grants will be available to cover costs such as competition travel and accommodation, coaching and equipment. It will also encourage grassroots participation in skiing and snowboarding by funding projects that offer young people ways of becoming involved in the sports and developing their talents.

The 2015/16 season has been hailed as a breakthrough year with seven British athletes on international podiums. With rising British skiing and snowboarding stars not only holding their own in the world scene, but in many cases leading the way, there is real medal potential in both PyeongChang and beyond.

With the 2018 Winter Olympics only 18 months away, British Ski and Snowboard are already looking to secure multiple medals in South Korea, a realistic target after Jenny Jones' bronze at Sochi 2014.

Frank McCusker, Chief Executive of the Ski Club of Great Britain said, 'The Ski Club of Great Britain, which represents the UK's recreational skiers, is proud that, through our participation in the British Snowsports Fund, we'll be supporting both the development of UK athletes and grassroots activities. It is incredibly exciting to see the industry as a whole back such an initiative and it can only be good for participation in the sport longer term.'

To find out more about The British Snowsports Fund and The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation visit www.bssnf.uk. Find The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation on Twitter at @Britishssnf. The British Snowsports Fund will be tweeting @Brit_Snowsports.