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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 17:38 UK

British ski team secures funding

Chemmy Alcott in Winter Olympic action
Alcott competed at the Winter Olympics amid the financial worries

By Anna Thompson

Britain's top skiers have secured funding for the next two years, ending months of uncertainty after the governing body went bust.

Prior to the Winter Olympics in February the team had to fund their own training after SnowsportGB went into administration, owing £300,000.

But the newly formed British Ski and Snowboard has found an as yet unnamed sponsor for the 11-strong senior squad.

The money will enable skiers to pay for coaches and organise race programmes.

Britain's top skier Chemmy Alcott and slalom specialist Noel Baxter had warned they were considering their futures in the sport because of the financial situation.

But they have agreed to carry on - along with Ed Drake, Dougie Crawford, Andy Noble, Dave Ryding, Jan Kochalski and Pam Thorburn.

606: DEBATE

The sponsorship deal means there is also funding to enable youngsters TJ Baldwin , Jai Geyer and Louise Thomas to make the step up to the senior squad.

Chief executive Dave Edwards told BBC Sport: "We have made some really good progress and are in much better shape than we were three to four months ago.

"The funding is secure for the next two years and the athletes are keen to get stuck into their summer programmes.

"This is an exciting group of athletes and we will do everything we can to ensure they deliver great results in international competition."

There will be changes in the coaching staff with Alcott's coach Mark Tilston deciding not to carry on.

Mike Pilarski will take up the position of head coach and it is hoped Alcott will benefit from a collaboration with the United States ski team.

"There's no doubt that British skiing has been through a difficult period recently so it's great to put the coaches on a firm footing," added Edwards.

He estimated £1.5m per year was needed to fund the ski and snowboard teams, which includes alpine, cross-country and freestyle.

Edwards added BSS would continue to seek new sponsorship opportunities - possibly tapping into a link between the leisure skiing industry and the racing one - to raise further money.



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see also
Alcott admits doubts over future
26 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Double skiing success for Baldwin
17 May 10 |  Winter Sports
British skiing hit by cash crisis
13 Aug 09 |  Winter Sports


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