University of Bath reception celebrates historic season for British Bobsleigh and Skeleton athletes and thriving partnership
Hosted by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian White, the event gave both organisations a chance to discuss the importance of their partnership against the backdrop of 80 international medals won during a historic campaign by the bobsleigh and skeleton athletes who train at the University.
They included World Championships men’s skeleton gold for Matt Weston and silver in the four-man bobsleigh for Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver, Taylor Lawrence and Greg Cackett – Britain’s first World Championships medal in the event since 1939.
Both Weston and Hall gave speeches at the event, held in the Claverton Rooms, to thank the University for their support last season and over the prolonged period that Bath has been home to both sports.
Professor White and the University’s Director of Sport, Stephen Baddeley, spoke of their pride in their association with the BBSA, while BBSA Director Ian Richardson praised the thriving partnership between the organisations.
“It’s been an outstanding season for both British Bobsleigh and British Skeleton and we’re very grateful for the opportunity to celebrate that with the University of Bath,” said Richardson.
“The BBSA has a longstanding relationship with the University of Bath and this has been our home for a considerable time now. During that period, the University and its staff have played a part in some wonderful achievements, and that was again the case last season.
“The push-track facility has been a central pillar of both sports’ preparations for the sliding season and we believe its quality helps us offset the huge disadvantage our programmes face in not having an ice track here in the United Kingdom. Our teams train in the gyms and on the sprint tracks at the University so this is where much of our success is built.
“It isn’t just the facilities that help us achieve our aims of being the best in the world – the relationships that we have built as teams or individuals over the years also make a difference and we look forward to continuing those on the road to the next Olympic Winter Games and beyond.”
Other attendees included Deputy Mayor of Bath, Councillor Dr Bharat Pankhania, and the Lord-Lieutenant for Somerset, Mohammed Saddiq, as well as staff at the UK Sports Institute and UK Sport.
The University of Bath, home to the UK’s only push-start track, has been the training base for British Skeleton since 2000 while British Bobsleigh officially moved its headquarters there in 2010. The two bodies merged in 2015 to form the BBSA.
Pictured top: (From left) BBSA Director Ian Richardson, skeleton champion Matt Weston and University of Bath Director of Sport Stephen Baddeley.