Wednesday, February 10, 2010

winter sports

The governing body for skiing and snowboarding went bust before the Games leaving athletes to fund themselves. The British Olympic Association stepped in temporarily, and Hunt says winter sports remain high priority despite claims London 2012 will dominate. "I'll bang the drum for winter sports like I do for summer sports," Hunt told BBC Sport. "We're a non-alpine nation and it's truly remarkable that we've got 52 athletes here [in Vancouver] anyway. "I really want to ensure that we have sustainable funding going forward that we can develop great pathways to build on a wealth of young people in our winter sports. There's so much opportunity and potential. "When you look around other nations like the Netherlands - they're not an alpine nation but they compete at the highest level. We need to build on that experience and lift our winter sports to the next level." The British Ski and Snowboard Federation, trading as SnowsportGB, was responsible for administering the lottery funds it received from UK Sport, but collapsed because of overspending. The BOA agreed to set up a new body British Ski and Snowboarding (BSS) to look after the 14 ski and snowboard athletes and their coaches at the Vancouver Games. It will review the whole structure in its aftermath, though it is not obliged to continue with the organisation going forward. Snowboarding has reinstated the British Snowboard Association (BSA) to administer the sport in the UK, though the organisation has yet to be accepted by the International Ski Federation as the official national governing body. But skiing's outlook remains unclear and former British Olympic ski racer Graham Bell is worried. "The future situation of skiing and snowboarding in the UK is looking pretty difficult," said Bell. "There are organisations like the British Association of Ski Instructors (Basi), like the Ski Club of Great Britain, who would benefit from having a strong British team and we need to get those organisations together to decide what the future is for competitive skiing in the UK.



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