The British Bobsleigh Association (“BBA”)
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
I had met the president of the International Bobsleigh Federation in London through a mutual contact who was on the board of the BBA. He invited me to join the Bobsleigh family at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The games were held 6 months after 9/11 and security was high. You hear mixed reviews about the ‘Mormon’s’ but I found them fantastic enthusiastic volunteers. The games were excellent and I had the ‘sliding bug’!
Upon my return I was asked to join the board of the BBA and within a year I was nominated as Chairman.
The challenge was significant. It was important to re-engage with the military that are still the bedrock of a sustainable, vibrant sport along with attracting new sponsors. We also had to deal with a successful Skeleton Association who (quite understandably) had aspirations to be accredited to compete not through the BBA but themselves.
That was a challenge for the FIBT, BBA and UK Sport which led to some frank conversations and the case being referred to The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Lausanne Switzerland, which the FBT and BBA succeeded in Skeleton remaining part of the BBA.
With UK Sports help, the BBA and Skeleton formed a new association called BBSA and the new entity was rewarded with Amy Williams gaining a Gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Games following the impressive Shelly Rudman’s Silver at Turin 2006 Olympic Games.
I was also proud to sit on the British Olympic Association’s National Olympic Committee.