UK Sport today announced its continued support for Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland following its Annual Investment Review (AIR) on Winter Sport, and has increased Short Track Speed Skating funding for PyeongChang preparations.
The AIR assessed support and investment arrangements across all Winter Olympic and Paralympic sports, ensuring that National Lottery investment is being used to maximise the performance of UK athletes with medal potential.
The support means that ice dancers Nick and Penny can continue their intensive training as they represent GBR on the world stage and prepare for Olympic qualification in just a few months’ time.
GB Short Track athletes will also be able to make the most of a boost in funding from UK Sport in the build-up to the next Winter Olympic cycle.
GB Short track Performance Director, Dr Stewart Laing said: “UK Sport’s Annual Investment Review is an opportunity for sports to have funding reviewed in light of new projects or opportunities that may present themselves during the Olympic cycle.
“Short Track have been really fortunate to have been able to identify 2-3 key projects that UK Sport have agreed to fund through the AIR panel decision. This additional investment gives us the opportunity to really focus on delivering our best performances in PyeongChang.
“The feedback that we have received from UK Sport has been really positive, about recent results, the confidence we have shown, and the direction of travel for GB Short Track Speed Skating towards the Games.
“With three months to go until the first Olympic qualifiers and just over seven months until the Olympic Games this is a real confidence boost of support from UK Sport and has been really well received by everyone in Short Track.”
UK Sport's decision to increase funding follows a season which saw Elise Christie become double world champion with exceptional victories in the 100m and 1500m.
The news also comes at a pivotal time for the National Ice Skating Association. The NGB faces a series of changes to its governance in line with its 10 Year Strategic Plan and the UK Sport and Sport England new Code for Sports Governance.
Maggie Worsfold, NISA Chair, said: “With the positive news of UK Sport’s continued support for our athletes, Penny and Nick can now fully concentrate on Olympic qualification at the end of September.”
High Performance Programme Manager Robin Cousins said: “I am pleased that UK Sport will continue to support Penny and Nick, and see the potential in them that NISA and those around them know they can deliver.
“It’s been a really tough year, but returning from a serious injury has only made them more determined.
"Now, they’re back on the ice where they belong and this news will give them a further boost towards the season ahead.”
Elated with the news, Nick and Penny added: “It's an honour to receive continued support from UK Sport.
“After such tough year of injury, the funding leading into our Olympic season is crucial to give us the best possible preparation for success in Pyeongchang 2018.
“It's allowed us to train in one of the best training camps for ice dance in the world and work alongside talented choreographers such as Great Britain’s own Christopher Dean, to construct what we feel are our best routines to date.
“We can now concentrate on the Olympics knowing that we have all the support we need.”
The results of UK Sport's AIR reflect great medalling prospects at the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and is fantastic news all round for ice skating in GBR.
To read UK Sport's full release, please click here.
To read GB Short Track's full release click here.