GROWING THE SPORTS WE LOVE
GB SNOWSPORT PERFORMANCE PROGRAMMES:
This is intended as an overview of the current performance programmes within GB Snowsport with some FAQs to help gain any understanding. The structure is shown diagrammatically and there is further information about selection to the World Class Programme.
GB SNOWSPORT WORLD CLASS PROGRAMME (WCP):
The WCP represents the pinnacle of the GB Snowsport performance programmes with the primary aim being to ensure medal success for Great Britain at the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. In line with UK Sport regulations membership to the WCP is for those athletes on a confirmed trajectory to be podium competitive at the Olympic Winter Games or Paralympic Winter Games. Unfortunately, the WCP is not accessible for athletes competing in Non-Olympic / Paralympic events. To ensure continued funding the WCP has annual performance targets agreed with UK Sport with our current medal target range for Beijing 2022 being 3-7 Olympic Medals and 7-11 Paralympic Medals. The WCP is currently limited to 27 Olympic and 16 Paralympic places, although this is reviewed annually and can be increased if new medal opportunities are identified. Athletes on the WCP receive Athlete Personal Awards (APA) directly from UK Sport in line with their performance attainment to contribute towards their living and sporting costs.
The WCP is not discipline specific and currently services athletes from all 4 Olympic disciplines (Alpine / Nordic / Snowboard and Freestyle Ski) and 3 Paralympic disciplines (Para Alpine / Para Nordic and Para Snowboard) where agreed performance standards have been attained.
The WCP operates at two distinct levels:
- Podium – supporting athletes with realistic medal winning capabilities at the next Olympic Winter/Paralympic Winter Games (i.e. a maximum of four years away from the podium)
- Podium Potential – these are athletes whose performances suggest that they have realistic medal winning capabilities at the subsequent Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (i.e. a maximum of eight years away from the podium)
The WCP offers a full package of athlete support to aid development and performance and includes, but is not limited to: access to world class coaching, access to world class training environments, sports science and medical support and performance lifestyle support.
Whilst many our WCP athletes have come through a traditional development pathway, we have several examples where athletes have transitioned from other snow disciplines, other sports and even other nations.
GB SNOWSPORT SENIOR NATIONAL SQUADS
Athletes who attain the criteria laid out in the discipline specific selection policies are invited to become members of the senior national squads relevant to the discipline where they have achieved the standard. These Senior National Squads include the Alpine World Cup Squad, Moguls World Cup Squad, XC Elite Team, Park & Pipe ‘A Team’ and GBX World Cup Squad. It is highly likely that many Senior National squad athletes are members of the World Class Programme. It is however possible in certain circumstances that an athlete may be a member of one of the senior national squads but not on the World Class Programme – this could be because their performances are not yet on the trajectory to become podium competitive at the Olympic Games or there are not enough places on the WCP. In these circumstances, and where possible, GB Snowsport will help to access other means of support to enable that athlete to continue to develop with a good example of this being the use of the Olympic Solidarity Scheme which is designed to help developing athletes. *N.B. all Olympic Solidarity Grants for the Beijing 2022 Cycle have been allocated
GB SNOWSPORT DEVELOPMENT SQUADS:
The primary purpose of these programmes is to prepare athletes for, and aid progression to, the World Class Programme. Each of these development programmes is discipline specific and is staffed and resourced by GB Snowsport coaches and staff. These development squads include the Alpine, Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross Europa Cup Programmes, Ski Cross Continental Cup Programme, and the Freestyle ‘B Teams’, and have been established with the aim to bridge the gap between pathway and the WCP. There is no funding available from UK Sport for these programmes and as such they are funded via athlete contribution and GB Snowsport revenue. It should be noted that these are development squads and a stepping stone to one of the Senior National Squads and World Class Programme.
FIS ALPINE TEAM
At the present time GB Snowsport selects athletes in the 2nd year of FIS alpine racing based on a performance tracker. These athletes are not part of the GB Senior or Development Teams and the main purpose is to give the selected athletes priority race entry to aid their continued development. As recognition for the attainment of this status athletes are given the opportunity to buy and race in GB Team Kit. GB Snowsport does not provide a formal programme at this level. *N.B. As of June 2020 the FIS Squad is under review
GB Snowsport does not currently deliver formal pathway programmes below Europa Cup level across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines but has developed relationships with commercial academies and charities that aid athletes’ development at the appropriate age and stage of their development.
HOW GB SNOWSPORT RECEIVES FUNDING:
GB Snowsport works in partnership with UK Sport to support the development of athletes who demonstrate the greatest potential for medal success at Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This partnership includes investment by UK Sport into GB Snowsport to deliver a World Class Programme (WCP) that supports athletes to train and progress towards Olympic & Paralympic success. It is important to note that funding received from UK Sport can only be spent on the WCP and not the development programmes or athletes.
For details on other snowsport funding opportunities available in the UK system please see our Grants and Resource Guide.