GB 1 & Weston win BBSA awards
The BBSA end of season awards saw Matt Weston and the GB1 Bobsleigh team walk away with the top prizes after an outstanding season for both sports.
Weston won the Skeleton Athlete of the Year, with Brad Hall, Arran Gulliver, Taylor Lawrence, Greg Cackett and Leon Greenwood named the Bobsleigh Team of the Year at the celebration event at Saltford Golf Club on the outskirts of Bristol.
Freya Tarbit was named Skeleton Breakthrough Athlete of the Year and Gulliver picked up the same prize for Bobsleigh, with the BBSA’s Official Vehicle Partner, Allen Ford, supporting the awards presentation.
Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Muckelt and Performance Coach Mareks Mezencevs were both selected as the Skeleton Staff Member of the Year.
“Last season really was something special and it was great to be able to recognise the achievements of our athletes and staff alongside so many friendly faces,” said Ian Richardson, BBSA Director.
“Many of us at the event have been involved in this sport for a long time and it’s safe to say that none of us can remember a non-Olympic season anything like this one. To win medal after medal across both sports and across all circuits was just incredible.
It showed the international bobsleigh and skeleton community and the wider public what everyone in the room already knew: that we have some of the best athletes and best coaches in the world and that we have the potential to excel at the Milan Cortina Olympics in 2026.
“To win World Championship gold in skeleton and silver in bobsleigh, plus European Championship gold and overall World Cup silver and bronze in both sports, was the icing on the cake to a stunning few months.
“Massive congratulations to all the award winners. They should all feel very, very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
Athletes and coaches from both sports were in attendance at Salford Golf Club
Picture credit: Marwa Zaman
Weston became the country’s first men’s World Champion for 15 years with success in St Moritz and he ended the season with 11 medals in all, including European Championship gold in Altenberg.
The 26-year-old finished on the podium in every one of his races bar one, claiming five World Cup golds and equalling Lizzy Yarnold’s record of seven World Cup medals in a single season as he won overall World Cup silver.
Hall, Gulliver, Lawrence and Cackett (with Greenwood as reserve for much of the season) won 13 top-tier medals across 4-man and 2-man competition as they tallied more podium places in a single season than the programme had recorded across the previous three Olympic cycles.
They won Great Britain’s first 4-man World Championship medal for 84 years with silver in Switzerland and they became the first European Champions from these isles with a stunning win in Altenberg. Overall World Cup medals were also won in 2-man, 4-man and the combined discipline and they were never outside the top three starters in any 4-man race across a sensational season.
For Gulliver, the results were even more remarkable given that he only joined the squad in the summer and hadn’t even been out on ice until pre-season. His first full run in a bobsleigh came on the eve of the new season and no one could have predicted the impact he would have had so early on in his career. Most would have expected a drop off in start times with a rookie in the sled but that never materialised and his contributions set the platform for the team’s incredible achievements.
For Tarbit, the Skeleton Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, this season was exactly that. Having entered the campaign with just a handful of races under her belt and only one top 6 finish to her name, the 22-year-old enjoyed a truly breakthrough season in 2022/23 as she missed the podium just once all year.
She won a brilliant bronze at the Junior World Championships in Winterberg and silver at the Junior European Championship silver in Igls and was seventh on her World Cup debut in Winterberg when she beat a host of Olympians and no fewer than eight World Cup medalists in the process.
The former long jumper finished the year with a total of 10 medals and was crowned the overall Europa Cup Champion in just her second full season of competition.
Award winner Freya Tarbit, pictured with Matt Brown from Allen Motor Group
Picture credit: Marwa Zaman