Brit Gillings gets funding boost

British number one snowboarder Zoe Gillings will receive podium funding towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games which take place in Sochi, Russia.

Earlier this month, UK Sport announced an award of up to £348,450 for British Ski and Snowboarding (BSS) which will go towards athletes' costs.

The collapse of SnowsportGB prior to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics had starved the two sports of investment.

"I'm over the moon that UK Sport have agreed to fund me," said Gillings.

UK Sport will review the initial short-term award, which only covers athletes' costs for this season, in September.

They will then judge the sport's organisational development and performance progress before deciding whether to push through the funding to 2014.

Gillings, who finished eighth in the snowboard cross at the 2010 Winter Olympics, added: "When I found out the UK Sport funding was cancelled, I hit rock bottom.

"I knew it wasn't my results as I'd placed eighth at the Olympics, seventh at the World Championships and third at the World Cup finals so I just didn't know what to do. I was moping a lot.

"A lot of work has been done over the last six months between UK Sport and British Ski and Snowboard, for which I am extremely grateful.

"I'd like to say a huge thank you to the new BSS performance director Paddy Mortimer, who I know has been working tirelessly every day to give every athlete at the BSS the opportunity to perform at their highest level.

"I'm really looking forward to working with him on a daily basis."