Sir John Ritblat sponsorship appeal

Date: 18 Nov 2012


Attended by the Earl of Wessex, The Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships is the biggest event on the British alpine calendar, and provides the opportunity for young British athletes to race on the same pistes recently chosen by FIS to host the Finals of the Alpine Ski World Cup in 2015.

The Championships will once again be sponsored by Delancey, who continue to provide enormous support to British Alpine Skiing, and who have recently partnered with Qatari Diar to purchase and lead the legacy of the Athletes Village in the Queen Elizabeth Park after the 2012 Games.

However, despite the government spending around ¬£10bn staging the London Olympics, the attendance of a Great Britain Alpine ski team at the Winter Olympics in 2014 is under threat from a severe lack of funding and sponsorship, making Delancey’s second year of support a huge help, but sadly still not enough to ensure talented young skiers excel as they should in this country. The support is still not enough to ensure they will be able to compete for Great Britain on the international stage.

Although many Alpine skiers from the UK excel internationally at junior level, they fail to develop at senior level. This is a problem British Ski & Snowboard attribute to a shortage of funds and therefore an over-arching inability to pay for the correct training and competition programmes.

Dave Edwards, Chief Executive of British Ski & Snowboard, believes funding is vital for success in the medal tables but admits the sport faces an uphill struggle. He said: ‘I firmly believe that our Alpine Ski team presents organisations with a very good opportunity to communicate messages and values about their brand to a very attractive audience, we had an cumulative TV audience of over three billion at least year’s FIS World Cup events. For over thirty years British skiing has enjoyed the support of Sir John Ritblat and British Land. Sir John and the property business Delancey – run by his son Jamie – continue to support skiing but additional sponsorship is critically required.”

Skiing is hugely popular in the UK with over 1 million Britons taking a skiing holiday every year. Over 75% of the ski trips that Britons take involve visits to France, Austria and Italy. The British tourist helps to support the National ski federations of these countries to the tune of many millions of pounds through money that they pay to the ski schools, in tourist taxes and other hidden subsidies in each of these countries. However none of this makes its way back to supporting home grown talent or facilities.

2012 will be the 34th year that Sir John Ritblat -Chairman of Delancey’s Advisory Board – has been involved with sponsorship of the sport. President of the old British Ski Federation, Sir John continues to be one of skiing’s strongest supporters and funding lobbyists. Commenting on the event and Delancey’s continued involvement, Sir John said: “In our view, the forthcoming British National Alpine Ski Championships is as important as any world championships. Britain has tremendous young prospects across all of its skiing disciplines. However in order for them to be in with a chance of challenging for medals at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games, it is crucial that they have the opportunity to attend race events. Most important is that they secure the long-term funding that they and the sport so desperately require. A solid financial platform is the only way to ensure Britain maintains its world-class reputation in this, and any other, sport.”

Details of the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships, including race programs and details of how to attend as spectator can be found on the official website:

Sir John Ritblat was the Chairman and Managing Director of The British Land Company PLC 1971 – 2006, he is now the Honorary President. He was the founder, Senior Partner and Chairman of Conrad Ritblat & Co. Consultant Surveyors & Valuers and is currently the Chairman of Colliers International UK plc.

Other Board memberships include: Chairman of the Board of Governors and Honorary Fellow of The London Business School, Deputy Chairman, Governor and Honorary Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music, Chairman of the Trustees of The Wallace Collection, Honorary President of the British Ski & Snowboard Federation, Crown Estate Paving Commissioner, Vice President Seafarers UK, Vice President of the Tennis & Racquets Association, Vice President of The Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Sir John was awarded the Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999 and sits on numerous other public and private boards and committees.

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