- May 8, 2002
- Reaction score
Britain's leading bobsleigh crews have told fellow squad members not to 'sulk' over recent political developments within their governing body, the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, and instead focus on driving improvements themselves. Last month, 13 athletes and two coaches on the British bobsleigh programme endorsed a letter to their governing body’s chair expressing concern that the removal of bobsleigh development officer Colin Rattigan from the BBSA's board would have an adverse effect on their chances of success. However this was rubbished by a rival group of athletes in another letter, this time signed by members of the respective teams led by Brad Hall and Mica McNeill, which stated that the in-fighting was "ludicrous at a time when we should all be pulling together." Hall, McNeill and their crews are preparing for the new World Cup season which begins in Latvia on November 20. Britain's beleaguered bobsleigh programme has been the focus of several recent headlines, with Rattigan dismissed by the BBSA in October, four months after he raised complaints which yielded a new and ongoing investigation into governance issues by UK Sport. It follows an earlier investigation in 2017 into allegations of a “toxic culture” at the governing body. The BBSA's bobsleigh programme receives no UK Sport funding following a poor performance at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics which means pilots, such as Hall and McNeill, choose their own crews and coaches, plot their own seasons and raise their own funds. The initial letter was signed under the collective title of "British Bobsleigh Athletes" and suggested Rattigan's removal threatened his plan for "collective success, funding and medals". Hall and McNeill were reportedly not consulted over that letter, with their response, published by the Press Association, questioning how such a plan for success could be achieved when the programme is centrally unfunded: "Based upon our experiences we cannot agree with the statement made by "British Bobsleigh Athletes". "Put simply, we have a board without the means to progress the sport in any way, shape or form, and until that changes, it is down to us as individuals to secure funding from third parties, which will always create an imbalance. "To suggest a great platform was created and then shelved is not correct without the ability to actually implement it. "We understand that this is frustrating for a lot of athletes including ourselves. However, we all have to deal with the current situation, and we can sit and sulk or we can look to achieve these improvements ourselves. "From an outside perspective, because in essence that is what we now are, there seems to be a power struggle within the BBSA. This seems ludicrous at a time when we should all be pulling together." The BBSA did not comment but it is understood to be broadly unconcerned by the direct relationships between crews.