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British Ski and Snowboard asks holidaymakers to fund GB winter sports

Jenny Jones

Snowboarder Jenny Jones won slopestyle bronze at Sochi 2014

Holidaymakers are being asked to help fund future Olympic athletes as part of an initiative from British Ski and Snowboard (BSS).

The British Snowsports Fund encourages customers to donate to British winter sports when they book holidays or buy recreational equipment.

Freestyle skiers and snowboarders are the only athletes funded by UK Sport.

Snowboarder Jenny Jones won Britain’s first Olympic medal on snow with slopestyle bronze at Sochi 2014.

“British ski holidaymakers already inadvertently fund Austrian and French racers through tourist taxes or ski schools,” BSS chief executive Dave Edwards told BBC Sport.

“Britons book 1.2 million ski weeks per year, so if they each contributed £1 that would be transformational.”

BSS has reached an agreement with a number of companies in the ski travel industry to help establish the fund.

Chairman Rory Tapner said: “Our aim is for our snowsport Olympians to replicate the success of their summer compatriots.”

BSS has also established the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, which awards grants to help young skiers and snowboarders.

“This could be a game-changer as it could mean being able to afford to take my coach to races with me or a ski technician to wax my skis,” added skier Cara Brown, who is not UK Sport funded.

“All these little things are all marginal gains and when ski racing comes down to hundredths of a second, it really matters if we want to compete with the best alpine nations.”

Britain surpassed their three-medal target in Sochi, finishing with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

Jones’ Olympic success contributed to an increase in recreational snow sport participation.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/37443518