British Bobsleigh funding totally cut for Beijing
UK Sport has confirmed that it has totally cut the funding for the British Bobsleigh team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics cycle.
The team knew they were under pressure following a funding review last year but the start of 2019 has brought a series of encouraging performances.
Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson finished fourth in the two-man event at the World Championships in March, the joint-best British result since 1953.
And earlier in the year in January, Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas finished fourth in a World Cup race while Hall and Gleeson finished sixth, the first British two-man top six finish at a World Cup event for 13 years.
However despite this UK Sport has decided to cut the funding which means if Team GB wants to field a Bobsleigh team in Beijing in three years they will have to rely on external funding.
“We are deeply disappointed that a significant sport such as Bobsleigh will no longer be funded by UK Sport.” Said Joanna Poulton, Chair Designate of the governing body which overseas both sports, the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA).
“Although we were aware following last year’s funding review that Bobsleigh might not be supported through to Beijing, we had hoped that our results this year would ensure some sort of further support.
“We believe we have good medal prospects, not just for Beijing 2022 but also for 2026 and beyond. However, UK Sport made it clear to us what we had to do to retain funding and, if we have fallen short, then we must accept that.”
Hall said on Twitter that he was “devastated” by the news.
“I regretfully have to say that our funding has been completely cut.
“I'm devastated to hear this news considering our 4th at the World Champs. Thank you again to our supporters and we will try our best to find the sponsorship to compete next year.”
Sadly this is not the first time that the British Bobsleigh crew have had to rely on crowdfunding.
McNeill had to resort to crowdfunding in order to have a place on the team for PyeongChang last year for her and her brakewoman Mica Moore.
And Hall also had to turn to the general public in order to raise funds for the World Championships in Whistler earlier this year.