11/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/26/2021 05:32
You have been the CEO of GB Snowsport for nearly four years with roughly half of that time in a Covid world. What has kept you and your team motivated during that time?
The mission of the team is clear: to put more snowsport athletes across the disciplines on more podiums than ever before in British history. With a combination of positive attitude, commitment to the cause and a determined teamwork mindset, it is easier to keep motivated.
What have been the biggest challenges for GB Snowsport and the squad during the pandemic and how did you overcome them?
The combination of the logistical challenges of Covid, the implications of Brexit and a restrained budget are some of the biggest challenges we have faced. Through thinking out of the box and operating in an agile way, we have been able to ensure that the athletes have remained fit, healthy and as well prepared as they can be for the forthcoming Olympics.
It must be fabulous for the competitors to be back out on the circuit - for events such as the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cups in Chur, Switzerland. What have they got to look forward to over the rest of the season?
We have a number of championships and competitions on the horizon across all of the Olympic and Paralympic snowsport disciplines. The athletes are very much looking forward to the opportunity to be back on snow regardless of the remaining challenges of Covid.
You are a champion of equality, diversity and inclusion. How are you promoting GB Snowsport at a grassroots level in order to fulfil this goal?
We are extremely dedicated to increasing the talent pathway with athletes from diverse backgrounds, including the launch of Project Balance. This is a project aimed at finding the next generation of snowboard athletes by providing skateboarding courses in inner cities and, subsequently, giving the participants an opportunity to try snowboarding in snowdomes on UK soil.
What other goals remain your priority?
To utilise the power of snowsports to educate the next generation in sustainability and to increase the strength and depth of world-class snowsport athletes across the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.
You have successfully signed up Redrow and Fusalp as partners to GB Snowsport. Does this release some of the funding pressure and where else do you raise the resources for the squad to compete on the international stage?
Given the complexity of the pandemic and Brexit, it has been extremely difficult to bring on new partnerships. However, we are extremely pleased with the developments thus far and will seek to expand our partnerships as we move forwards, which will hopefully enable us to do more within GB Snowsports and the world-class programmes. Having 12 squads dispersed across Europe and other parts of the world is heavily dependent on financial resources and we still have a large gap to fill.
Talking of which, the Beijing Winter Olympics beckons in February 2022. What preparation will the teams and competitors put themselves through over and above training for a regular World Cup event?
Fortunately, the International Ski Federation (FIS) is still providing a number of competitions across the different disciplines and the combination of these and preparation camps will hopefully enable us to have as much time on snow as possible pre-Beijing.
Tell us more about the Para Alpine team?
The team has gone from strength to strength with us recently - we've brought in more guides as well as athletes using guides from the FIS programmes.
You sit on the board of the British Olympic Association, Rugby Centurions and the Invictus Games UK delegation, among others. You also have three children. How do you possibly balance your work and home commitments?
Having served in the military for 21 years, prioritisation of tasks has been key to success. This, accompanied by an incredible husband, has enabled me to balance my commitments. My energy is derived from the 'purpose' of each of my commitments.
Will there be silverware coming back from Beijing?
Our athletes have committed and prepared to the best of their ability given the complexities and you will have to tune in and watch! We are certainly looking forward to showcasing our talent and competing against some of the best in the world.