Innovative research projects and training sessions alongside players from the NFL are helping propel the British bobsleigh team towards the podium at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in 2014.
Gary Anderson, Performance Director of Great Britain Bobsleigh, discussed details of the team’s path towards Sochi at a preview to the 2011/2 season at the team’s University of Bath base.
The Sochi Olympic Winter Games take place almost 50 years to the day since Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won Britain’s only Olympic bobsleigh gold medal at Innsbruck Games in Austria.
Great Britain Bobsleigh have launched a PROJECTfifty campaign in partnership with UK Sport to try to improve every element of team preparation and racing in the lead-up to 2014.
It includes an innovative partnership with McLaren to develop improved sleds and runners, as well working with KBC on new helmets and BSC (BodyScience Skin) on new race suites.
Team members also attended a summer training camp at the Michael Johnson Performance centre in Dallas, where they trained alongside NFL players.
“Our objective is to be on the podium in Sochi,” said Anderson. “We intend to be the best prepared team of athletes physically, mentally and technically to leave these shores for the Olympic Winter Games.
“That is something that is totally within our control. “
The team are keen to build on their successes last season, when Paul Walker and Rebekah Wilson won the World Junior Championships for the first time and John Jackson and Dan Money won a Europa Cup gold.
The team’s goal for the 2011/12 is for the women’s crew tosecure top-eight finishes in the World Championships or World Cup, and for the men to achieve a top-eight World Cup finish and a top-12 FIBT ranking. The team has also targeted winning a medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
Olympian John Jackson teams up with Bruce Tasker, John Bains, Stu Benson and Joel Fearon in GBR1 for the coming season, with PaulaWalker, Rebekah Wilson and Kelly Denyer in the women’s GBR1 crew.
Katherine Endacott is a member of the Europa Cup team. She returns to train at the University of Bath, at which she studied for an HND in Coach Education and Sports Performance, which she completed in 2004.
Endacott was a member of the England 4x100m team that won gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she also won an individualsilver medal over 100m. Her goal now is to compete as a sprinter at the London 2012 Olympic Winter Games and then to represent Great Britain in the bobsleigh at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“I really enjoyed my time as a student at the University of Bath,” she said. “I’m just going to find my feet in the bobsleigh this year, but there’s no reason why I can’t do 2012 and 2014.”
The next stepping stone for the British bobsleigh athletes is the British Championships, taking place at the Winterberg track in Germany from 24 to 29 October.
The University of Bath is The Sunday Times ‘University of the Year’ 2011/2012.
For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518.