- UK Sport Investment 2010-14 (Sochi) - £2,953,400
- UK Sport Investment 2006-10 (Vancouver) - £964,000
- Number of Podium Funded Athletes - 5: Elise Christie*, Jonathan Eley*, Richard Shoebridge*, Paul Stanley, Jack Whelbourne*
- Number of Podium Potential Funded Athletes - 12: Jack Burrows, Anthony Cast, Murray Cochrane, Joshua Cheetham, Aydin Djemal, Charlotte Gilmartin*, Jennifer Pickering, Billy Simms, Alex Stanley, Kathryn Thompson, Farrell Treacy
- Sochi Performance Target - 0**-1 Medals
*selected for Sochi 2014
**2 x top eight finishes
The Sochi Journey
December 2010 was the dawn of a new era for GB Short Track Speed Skating, with almost £3 million of National Lottery and Exchequer investment, the Sochi Cycle got off to the best possible start.
The increase in funding allowed Performance Director Stuart Horsepool to make some significant changes to the Nottingham-based GB programme. For the first time, Horsepool was able to employ three national coaches to work with the squad, including technical coach Seung Jae Lee from world leading Short Track nation, South Korea.
"Without UK Sport and Lottery Funding the team and I wouldn’t be where we are today. They make it possible for us to be competitive with the best skaters in the world, and the support they give us goes from making sure we get the training time we need through to support services like nutrition and psychology, which make all the difference in short track where races are won and lost by hundredths of seconds. Their help has also meant I’ve been able to pursue my Olympic dream at Sochi, so I’m really thankful for that." – Elise Christie
Two coaches, Joanna Eley and Paul Worth, have also been able to benefit from UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme, which focuses on the development of non-technical coaching skills, whilst also providing an opportunity to share knowledge and experience with coaches from across the system.
More GB athletes have been able to travel to more international competitions during this cycle, allowing them to face their key rivals and, crucially, hone their racing skills in a competitive environment. The increased opportunity has also allowed younger skaters to compete at World Cups, giving them invaluable experience to make the step up to senior internationals.
In 2011 the athletes were able to put this into practice in front of a home crowd, when UK Sport supported GB Short Track to host the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.
The squad has also sought insight from other high performing sports, and Head Coach Nicky Gooch worked with former British Cycling Olympic Coach Scott Gardner on the structure and periodization of the squad’s training programme.
Vitally, Horsepool was also able to focus on the next generation of skaters and bring a number of talented ‘podium potential’ athletes onto the World Class Performance Programme. Among the athletes joining the Programme at that time were Jack Whelbourne, who the following year went on to become Junior World Champion over 1,000m, as well as breaking the world record as part of the men’s 5,000m relay team.
Having competed alongside Whelbourne in Vancouver, Elise Christie also came onto funding in 2010. Christie has gone on to achieve success at European, World Cup and World Championship level, becoming the first British woman in history to win a World Championship medal, claiming bronze over 1,000m in 2013.
Fellow Sochi-selected athletes Charlotte Gilmartin and Richard Shoebridge were both part of the 2010 intake, while the fifth Sochi skater, Jon Eley, has been on the World Class Performance Programme for over ten years and will be competing in his third Olympic Games.