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.


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. The WCP investment is directed by UK Sport, with decisions to fund those disciplines they deem as Podium competitive within the next Olympic cycle. 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 currently services athletes from 2 Olympic disciplines (Snowboard and Freestyle Ski) and 2 Paralympic disciplines (Para Alpine 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.


Where UK Sport do not deem disciplines eligible for WCP investment, disciplines can be awarded UK Sport National Squad Funding. This is support athletes to represent Great Britain at Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major competitions. National Squad funding is minimal and requires additional co funding to deliver a programme which can achieve success.


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 Ski and Snowboard Cross World Cup Squad.  It is highly likely that many Senior National squad athletes are members of the World Class Programme if their discipline has been deemed eligible for WCP funding.  It is also 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


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 Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross Europa Cup Programme; the Freestyle ‘B Teams’; and ‘Project Lillehammer’ which is a joint cross-country pathway project between Snowsport Scotland and GB Snowsport. These programmes 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.


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.

GB Snowsport does not currently deliver formal pathway programmes below World 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.


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.


How do I become a member of the GB Snowsport Development Programme/ where is talent selected from?

We are currently in a significant review phase of our Pathway/ Development delivery across Paralympic disciplines. As it currently stands, we take a very individualised approach to potential talent; if an athlete were to contact us, we would investigate their current performance level and their projected performance level to understand their potential. In addition, we work closely with the EIS Pathways Team and are part of the Discover Your Gold campaign that was launched in 2021.

Across the Olympic disciplines, GBS works closely with academies operating within the pathway to recognise talent across the disciplines. Please contact GB Snowsport Head of Talent if you live in the UK but are not training within an academy, to discuss further.

We also run the British Qualified Programme, an athlete centred initiative designed to develop and support BQ athletes living outside the UK. Read more here:

How do I become a World Class Programme athlete?

Membership of the WCP is based on an athlete attaining the performance standards agreed annually with UK Sport, and being on the trajectory to be podium competitive at the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games.

Who is responsible for the development pathway across Snowsports?

GB Snowsport’s remit is to deliver the elite performance programmes and not grass roots or pathway, since this sits in the remit of the individual Home Nation Sports Councils. However, recognising the need for an aligned pathway, GB Snowsport recruited a Head of Talent to oversee pathway development and has also co-funded coaching roles within Sport Scotland to help ensure athletes are able to come through the pathway.  For any questions relating to pathway development please contact Mark Ritchie –

For any information on grass roots and community snowsports, please contact the relevant Home Country Sports Council:

Snowsport England –

Snowsport Scotland –

Snowsport Wales –

For further information on how high performance sport is funded in the UK –

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