British Bobsleigh appoint new Performance Director and Head Coach at start of Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympiad

04 October 2022

Mark Silva and Graham Richardson have been appointed as Performance Director and Head Coach respectively of University of Bath-based British Bobsleigh for the new Olympic cycle.

The pair will lead GB’s pursuit of success in Milan Cortina in 2026 as bobsleigh returns to UK Sport funding for the first time in four years.

Silva steps up from his role as Bobsleigh Manager within the GB set up, while Richardson joins after seven successful seasons with the Canadian federation.

They share a combined 45 years of bobsleigh experience and will be aiming to build on last season’s hugely impressive eight top-tier medals when the new race season starts in November.

Silva originally joined the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) as Development Manager in the 2021-22 off season, initially heading up the pathway and development element of the British Bobsleigh programme before moving into a wider leadership role.

He remains on secondment from the Royal Air Force, for whom he has served on numerous tours of Afghanistan and the Gulf during the past 25 years and has held senior management roles for the past decade.

“During the last 18 months working with the team, I have met a lot of people who hold bobsleigh deep in their heart and it is an honour and a privilege to lead the sport forward for them,” said Silva, who worked at the last two Olympic Winter Games with Jamaica.

“We have some outstanding athletes in the programme, many of whom have already achieved incredible success on the international stage, and, knowing how hard they work and how much talent they have, I am confident they will continue to excel this coming season and beyond.”

Richardson arrives at the BBSA on the back of three successive medal-winning Olympics with Canada, working as Team Manager and Technical Driving Coach for the most recent cycle. He boasts over 30 years of experience in the sport and is one of the most well-respected figures on the international circuit.

The 57-year-old previously held head coach roles for both the Dutch and Italian teams and also worked for the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation in a development coaching capacity.

“It is a huge honour and a privilege to take on the role of Head Coach for Great Britain,” added Richardson, who is entering his seventh Olympic cycle as a coach. “These are exciting times for British Bobsleigh with incredibly talented athletes in all levels of our programmes.

“I very much look forward to leading the teams towards medal performances at the 2026 Milan Cortina Olympic Winter Games and beyond.”

British Bobsleigh teams won seven World Cup medals and another at the Olympic Test event last season, making it their most successful regular IBSF season in recent memory.

Brad Hall and his crew then finished 11th and sixth at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in February, with Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas 17th in the women’s event.

The new World Cup bobsleigh season begins in Whistler, Canada on the last weekend in November. Races follow in Park City and Lake Placid in the United States before Christmas, with the circuit heading to Europe in the New Year.

This season’s showpiece event – the World Championships – takes place in St Moritz, Switzerland from the 26th of January to 3rd February next year.

Click here to find out more about bobsleigh at the University of Bath. 

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