British Biathlon - Funding beyond Sochi 2014

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Ninja_Stoker, Jan 5, 2014.

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  1. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Not a sport I know much about, but I just watched a BBC report from Sweden which stated the British team are facing a funding crisis and an uncertain future.

    The report went on to state that all bar one of the British Biathlon Team are from the military. There was then a couple of interviews in which athletes seemed to have mixed feelings, faced with the fact that they would "have to return to their full time military jobs". One person stated they would be gutted if they had to become a full time clerk again, another stated that after 17 years in the team, if needs be, he would have to return to his "day job".

    Maybe it came across wrong, but the impression I got was that the biathlon team was a full time, long term "posting" rather than a seasonal event with individuals loaned from their respective units, as with most other sports.

    It's appreciated athletes join the armed forces to further their sporting activities, but my question is: "Do we actually employ full time athletes in the Armed Forces?" If so, how many I wonder.
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  2. Yeah, that left me scratching my head and wondering if I'd heard correctly.
  3. Yep, saw that too and thought ' lucky barstewards' - 22 years playing their sport then full pensh!

    I do wonder how the poor dears get promoted, if at all.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It's an interesting one.

    Don't start me on the Red Arrows. :grin:
  5. They hav'nt exactly covered wither themselves or the UK in glory.
    Waste of funding. get the members back to their respect regiments and make em work for a living. Perhaps give the poor sods who have been covering for them while theu have been enjoying the celebrity lifestyle a break

  6. Funnily enough I saw that on the BBC yesterday - something about their 50th anniversary. It was when they mentioned the 100/150(?) back-up team required that I wondered about the overall figures. Say 12 top fast jet pilots (including team manager etc), team trainees/back up pilots, the vast back up team (NCOs?) - oh and the cost of the aircraft, plus fuel, maint etc.

    Command Field Gun anyone?
  7. Saw the same article, it appeared to me that the military members of the team (which was most of them) had been on one continuous jolly and were threaders that they were going back to what they were actually paid to do rather than ski and shoot a few targets (and not trouble the leaderboard for their efforts either). They seriously need to wake up & smell the coffee.
  8. There aren't any backup pilots. They can't have them cos nobody could learn all the positions. The have nine pilots plus a pilot team manager to fly a spare jet. Plus I think they are heavily sponsored by British industry including Bae who sell Hawks and other aircraft off the back of them.

    It is probably a little difficult to justify in times of cuts but they are good and I don't think they actually cost the defence budget that much.

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  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Rest assured, if I had the money to fart about full time, with 10 aircraft, 100+ back-up crew, civilian sponsorship and attend a few dozen summer airshows in UK for the benefit of a few hundred visually impaired anoraks with no prospect of joining, I'd be bleedin' brilliant, not just 'good'. :wink:
  10. A couple of Greenies I joined up with, very sporty, ended up Spare Crew in Fazers. Football, Swimming and Skiing etc for Scottish Command, one after a loan draft to do his Part 3 and pick his Dolphins up went back to spare crew, when he wanted his Hook got a Draft to the Wakeful for his sea time, occasionally going to sea day running. Nice work if you could get it.

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