Harpenden’s Max Baggio is getting ready to compete at the 2012 Delancey British National Alpine ski championships on Sunday.
Baggio will be looking to build on his recent success at the English Alpine Championships in Borneo when he took home the Junior 1 Slalom and Super G titles.
But like other British Alpine skiers, his chances of receiving the necessary coaching and competing at future Winter Olympic games are under threat due to lack of funding for the sport.
Attended by the Earl of Wessex, the National Alpine ski championships is the biggest event on the British alpine calendar. It provides the opportunity for young British athletes to race on the same pistes recently chosen to host the fnals of the Alpine Ski World Cup in 2015. Despite the government spending around £10 billion staging the London Olympics, the attendance of a competitive British Alpine ski team at the Winter Olympics in 2014 is under threat from a severe lack of funding and sponsorship.
Although many Alpine skiers from the UK excel on the global stage at junior level, they fail to develop at senior level. This is a problem British Ski & Snowboard attribute to a shortage of funds and an inability to pay for the correct training and competition programmes.
Dave Edwards, chief executive of British Ski & Snowboard, believes funding is vital for success in the medal tables but admits the sport faces an uphill struggle.
He said: “Our elite British Alpine skiers have great potential for success on the international stage if we, as a nation, can put the correct support in place for them.
“Although many organisations have cut their marketing spend savagely over the last couple of years I firmly believe that our Alpine Ski team presents organisations with a very good opportunity to communicate messages and values about their brand to a very attractive audience.
“I am determined to find those organisations over the next few months so that we can provide promising athletes, such as Max, with the support they deserve.
“For over 30 years British skiing has enjoyed the support of Sir John Ritblat and British Land. Sir John and the property business Delancey - run by his son Jamie - continue to support skiing but additional sponsorship is critically required.”
Details of the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships, including race programs and details of how to attend as spectator can be found on the website at www.britishalpinechamps.com