News - Summer 2006
05 Nov 06 - SQUAD SAILS TO SWEDEN
The GBR Senior Squad sails to Sweden today to commence final on snow training in Östersund where a metre of snow is reported. Warm weather is forecast, followed by another cold spell, so expectations of an on schedule opening World Cup for the new season (29 Nov - 03 Dec) are high. The GBR athletes also spent most of October in Sweden, training in the Torsby snow tunnel.
All the athletes are reported fit and are looking forward to the National selection races between 22 & 25 Nov. The Senior Squad will be joined by the NDS graduates (see 01 Nov story below), whilst any other British National may apply to compete in these selection races.
01 Nov 06 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SQUAD GRADUATES
The National Development Squad has left the Biathlon Academy at the East Grange Biathlon Centre and the following will be training on snow under European Cup Coach Scott BANES in Idre SWE:
Spr Pete BEYER 28 Engr Regt, ATpr Lee CUNNINGHAM 5 Regt AAC, Spr Mark SCHROEDER 28 Engr Regt, Gnr Caz HART 12 Regt RA. Congratulations on your successful graduation after a hard summer of training, and to the RAF's Fay POTTON who is attached to the Senior Squad.
31 Oct 06 - 1200 DAYS TO VANCOUVER
The countdown is just 1200 days to Vancouver and the opening of XXI Olympic Winter Games. Frankly, there is not yet much on the Vancouver website (click logo right), but it may whet the appetite. There is slightly less time (30 days) to the start of the first World Cup of the new Olympic cycle in Östersund SWE.
13 Oct 06 - EAST GRANGE BC - UPDATE
The EAST GRANGE Biathlon Centre web page has been updated; check out.
13 Oct 06 - ARMY WOMEN'S NORDIC QUALIFICATION CHANGES
Proposals for changes to the system of qualification for female athletes to the Army / British Championships have been submitted to the AWSA for introduction in 2008. Your comments (to the AWSA) are welcome; click for more.
03 Oct 06 - WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE CHANGES
There have been some minor changes to the race programme for the Worlds Championships in Antholz ITA. Unfortunately if you have already purchased tickets there are no refunds, but the new schedule gives a better mix or races! Click for Latest Schedule or Antholz Home Page.
03 Oct 06 - GBR SEC GEN ON IBU COMMITTEE
BBU Secretary General Mark GOODSON has been invited to join the IBU Information Committee. Mark, a former Chairman of the now defunct IBU Constitutional Committee is only the third GBR representative on an IBU (formerly UIPMB) Committee. He follows Olympians John MOORE and Spud LEANING, and his invitation is a recognition of the important role that GBR continues to play "behind the scenes" in world biathlon.
03 Oct 06 - EC 2 SWITCHED TO OBERTILLIACH
European Cup 2, scheduled for Garmisch-Partenkirchen GER, 14 - 16 Dec 06 has been switched to OBERTILLIACH AUT, which will also host EC 1 (08 - 10 Dec).
Garmisch returns as a venue in 2007-08 when four events will be held before Christmas (Geilo NOR, Torsby SWE, Obertilliach and Garmisch). In Jan 08 races will be in Osrblie SVK and Bansko BUL and in Mar 08 the last two will be in Cesana ITA and Valroney-Retord FRA.
The ECH's 2008 with take place in Nove Mesto-CZE. The JYWCH´s 2009 will be in Canmore-CAN.
21 Sep 06 - WORLD CUP RACE TIMINGS
Additional and amended timings to a number of World Cup races have been added to the World Cup page. In particular there will be no floodlit relays at WC 5 in Ruhpolding GER this coming season. Note also that the Hochfilzen WC 2 event has been condensed to 3 days (08 - 10 Dec 06). Check them out!
20 Sep 06 - TEAM GALLERY
We are delighted to announce that we have now a Photo Gallery up and running, with photos of the teams hard at work. The first (and belated) pics of the GBR Team at the Turin Olympics 2006 (courtesy of Getty Images) are amongst a number now available. More
08 Sep 06 - CONCERN OVER SIR CLIVE WOODWARD'S BOA ROLE
The appointment of Sir Clive WOODWARD (architect of England's Rugby World Cup success in 2003) yesterday (07 Sep) as the Director of Elite Performance at the British Olympic Association "has been greeted with a mixture of enthusiasm and concern." (The Times - 08 Sep).
The BBU hails this initiative and interviewed in The Times today, BBU Secretary General Mark GOODSON said: "This is a very positive move for UK Sport overall. He will be of considerable value if he can trigger any funding for us in winter sports." More
The Daily Telegraph today reports that "Woodward starts work at the BOA on Sep 18 with a salary estimated at about £ 300,000 a year, but his appointment could serve only to expose the divisions that traditionally have plagued sport in this country ... The problem facing Woodward is that the 35 Olympic sports already have their own performance directors whose accountability is primarily to UK Sport, the body that distributes Lottery funding..." More
Really? We would merely comment that UK Sport does not provide any Lottery funding to British Biathlon (see story 05 Aug, below). This amount, if true, is also some 4 times more that the BBU received from UK Sport / BOA in the entire 4 year run up to the Turin Olympic Winter Games. We look forward to the performance finger on the trigger!
07 Sept 06 - LIVE STREAMING
We are pleased to be able to offer live TV / video streaming of the 2006 - 2007 Eon Ruhrgas Biathlon World Cup.
Click the logo to watch the Summer Biathlon World Championships Now!
07 Sep 06 - IBU 7th REGULAR CONGRESS KHANTY-MANSIYSK RUS
07 Sep 06 - WORLD CUP DATE AMENDMENTS
Thank you to our eagle eyed supporter Don Henderson who spotted a mistake in the dates for WC 8 at Holmenkollen. This runs from 08 - 11 Mar 07 (with no races on the 9th) and the correct dates are now shown on our World Cup page.
23 Aug 06 - IBU 7th REGULAR CONGRESS - BBU OFFICE CLOSURE
Mark GOODSON BBU Sec Gen and Performance Director Eddy LOWE will be attending the IBU Congress in Khanty-Manysisk RUS 30 Aug - 03 Sep. The BBU Office will thus be closed from 26 Aug - 04 Sep but although we shall be in deepest Siberia, we should be able to pick up Emails.
The IBU Executive Board and a number of important Committees will be (re) elected and amongst a large number of motions is one from GBR to introduce a promotion & relegation system from the World Top 20. This has the backing of the IBU Executive Board. Over 100 delegates from 50 countries are attending with most flying on a Russian Charter flight from Munich!
12 Aug 06 - WESSEX CLUB LAUNCHES DETAILED WINTER PROGRAMME
The Wessex Biathlon & Nordic Ski Club, which is the UK's newest Biathlon & Nordic Ski Club, run by Rupert Butcher covers a wide geographical area in the West & South West of England. The Club has a very good link with Arthur Harvey's long established Budleigh Farm Target Shooting Club and a number of events will be held there together with trips to Scotland, roller skiing and on-snow training. Click the logo for more info.
12 Aug 06 - WORLD CUP CALENDAR 2006 - 07
Fortunately for our budget, and the travel plans of spectators, all World Cup races next winter (and the World Champs) will be held in Europe. We are delighted to offer GBR supporters advice about the venues, but the BBU regrets that it can not make any travel or accommodation bookings for you. Click for the programmes, which will be updated as timings and TV schedules are announced: World Cup European Cup
12 Aug 06 - IBU CONGRESS 2006
The 7th Regular Congress of the International Biathlon Union will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk RUS from 30 Aug - 02 Sep 06. Situated some 3 hours flying time East of Moscow, Khanty is a growth town in the centre of the Siberian oil-fields and a regular winter host for World Cups. GBR will be represented by Secretary General Mark GOODSON and Performance Director Eddy LOWE. Agenda items include the (re)-election of several IBU Board Members, with severe and unwelcome pressure on Norwegian President Anders BESSEBERG. 54 Nations will be attending to discuss and vote on a wide variety of motions, including one from the BBU to introduce a "promotion & relegation system" into and out of the World Top 20. Although GBR receives no financial support for the athletes from UK Sport (see story below), we are grateful to their "International Representatives Grant" which provides some funding for our two delegates.
12 Aug 06 - GBR SQUAD LISTS
The GBR Squad Lists for the Summer 2006 have been updated. Click to view
The Senior Squad will train for the rest of the summer in Ruhpolding GER and Torsby SWE, with the Academy remaining in Scotland at East Grange BC.
12 Aug 06 - BBU AT COWES
Not quite on the podium - but an encouraging start was made to their career as sailors by the BBU crew at the Cowes Week. Pictured from left: Carl EVANS (former Team Manager), David CRANSTON (Chairman), Emma FOWLER (Olympic biathlete). Jason SKLENAR (Team Coach & double Olympian), Lee JACKSON (GBR Team Captain).
Take Emma out of the equation, and perhaps we have the starting line up for the first Biathlon World Cup Relay of the season?!
05 Aug 06 - UK SPORT SCUPPERS UK BIATHLON
British Biathlon will NOT receive ANY financial support from UK Sport in a £6m package released for the cycle up to the next Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010.
Bob skeleton and curling, which have been Britain's most successful winter sports at the last two Olympics, will receive the bulk of the cash. The funding package (which does not include additional support worth £ 45,000 per "selected Olympic athlete" from the listed sports - not including biathlon) - is below:
x The £ 22.2 K paid to Biathlon in 2002-06 was the UK Sport share of a 4 year joint grant with the BOA for non-lottery funded sports (Olympic Solidarity Development Funding). UK Sport pulled out after 2 years; fortunately the BOA "picked up the tab".
* These sports will receive half of this amount over the first two years of the cycle, with the rest being performance related. The other sports will receive the full amount shown over the 4 year period.
BBU Chairman David Cranston said: "The attitude and support of UK Sport towards Biathlon is very disappointing. Together with our President, Colin Jackson, I shall be seeking urgent talks with them. This is not what we were expecting, or promised, as part of the benefits from London 2012. This is a sad day for the development of Biathlon in the UK, especially as only 5 months ago we were all celebrating the achievement of Emma Fowler who became the first British female to qualify and compete in Biathlon at the Olympic Winter Games."
Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s Director of Performance said: "Our approach to Winter Olympic and Paralympic funding is unashamedly based on our ‘No Compromise’ approach" (This targets resources predominately at sports and athletes considered to be genuine medal prospects in four years time.). "We have to allocate to those sports that have shown they can deliver and have the future potential to win medals on the world stage. We have to be realistic, Great Britain will never be a top winter sports nation but we can achieve success if we target our investment effectively at the right athletes."
Mark Goodson the BBU Secretary General said: "The only realistic part of Liz Nicholl's statement is the last sentence. 'No Compromise' makes 'no sense' to a sport like Biathlon where it takes a decade or more of International competition to even contemplate a medal. Biathlon is simply not the kind of sport where obscene amounts of cash can be thrown at raw novices to turn them into potential medallists in one cycle. Fortunately, and with no help from UK Sport, due to the BOA's 'Better Business Partnership', we shall survive until 2010 with sponsorship from Skandia UK Group and the Army."
What do YOU think? Should there be "No Compromise" or "Sport for All"?
Send your comments by EMail to Sue Campbell, the Chair of UK Sport (and please copy to the BBU: firstname.lastname@example.org)
05 Aug 06 - TEAM TRAINING NEWS
The senior athletes are now all training in Ruhpolding, and we are delighted to report that Joe BROOKS has returned after a lengthy injury. He may be a little heavier than 12 months ago, but is no less enthusiastic about regaining his World Cup slot. Rob CHUDLEY has taken the summer off to concentrate on Military courses, but unfortunately Steve HILL has decided to retire from the sport Internationally. Steve was a double British Junior Biathlon Champion last winter and made his International debut at the European Championships. He believes that he "can not afford to stay in the sport" - UK Sport please note.
Coach Jason SKLENAR, athletes Lee JACKSON and Emma FOWLER, former Manager Carl EVANS joined Chairman David CRANSTON afloat last weekend, and raced at the Skandia Cowes Week. Many thanks to Skandia UK Group for the opportunity to sail at the World's finest regatta; we await the return match against your Senior Executives on snow with interest!
DEATH OF FORMER TEAM MANAGER
Major (Retd) Paul Tolfree late QOH
The BBU regrets to announce the death of Paul Tolfree.
Paul skied in the Queen's Own Hussars (now QRH) Nordic team for several years before becoming the Manager of the British Olympic Biathlon Team in the mid 80's, including the Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games in 1984. He maintained his support for Biathlon as a course setter at the British National Championships in Zwiesel and Les Saisies before leaving the Army in 1993. Paul was only 50 and died after a long illness on Saturday 29th July. The Funeral will be held at St James' Church Shaftesbury, Dorset at 3.00 pm on Monday 7th August.
We send our deepest sympathy to his wife Shin, his children Harry, Flora and Lucy, and to his parents and all family and friends.
21 Jun 06 - GBR SELECTION POLICY 2006 - 07
The 2006- 2007 Selection Policy was approved by the BBU Board on 10 Apr 06. There have been a couple of minor amendments, relating to the availability of athletes, and for the full Policy click here.
21 Jun 06 - GBR SQUAD NEWS
A number of the Senior Squad athletes have been back at their Regiments or attending military courses during the Spring. Carl CARRIER went to Australia and got married! Lance HODGKINS and Stuart PAINE decided to retire from International competition and we are grateful for their efforts over recent seasons. It is always difficult to combine a military career (and the GBR athletes have almost always been in the Forces) with a sporting one. Lance retires as the GBR No 2, and career stats will appear in due course.
Most of the athletes have been training in Scotland, under the direction of National Team Coach Jason Sklenar. The Spring training has been centred on Sportscotland's facilities at Glenmore Lodge, with diversions to the Olympic Medical Institute and Budleigh Farm Target Shooting Club. Some athletes will shortly go to the Ramsau Glacier in Austria , whilst all will assemble in mid July in Ruhpolding and spend the rest of the Summer in Germany.
Jason SKLENAR, the National Team Coach also tied the knot and photos of the happy couple (and the Carriers) will be here soon.
03 Apr 06 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SQUAD NEWS
The 2006 Course Joining Instruction (CJI) for those athletes selected for the NDS was published to Units on 24 Mar 06. It requests athletes, or their Unit, to confirm availability for the first course (16 - 28 Apr 06) by 05 Apr 06. Not many have so far done so!
In case athletes have not received the CJI, it is published here as a PDF - click to read