Derby-based Acres Engineering has stepped forward to help drive the performance and future of one of Great Britain’s latest Olympic hopefuls.
Based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, pilot Corporal John Stanbridge and 2014 Sochi Olympics athlete Corporal John Baines are hoping to compete in the 2-man bobsleigh in the forthcoming European Cup Season, with an eye on World Cup qualification and then the Olympics in 2022.
However, with UK Sport funding pulled from GB Bobsleigh nearly two years ago the team is struggling to train to its maximum potential during a crucial phase of its development.
Rather than accept defeat, John and his crew have reached out to the business community for support and began a dialogue with Acres Engineering Managing Director Luke Parker after reading about their Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award from the Ministry of Defence.
Corporal Stanbridge explains: “Sadly for us and many of our fellow athletes, when UK Sport funding was pulled for GB Bobsleigh it put huge doubt on our aim to qualify for the Olympics and ultimately contest for a medal.
“However, we are not the sort of people to allow this to set us back so we began reaching out to companies for support with equipment and funding. Luke and the team at Acres Engineering are known for their support of the Armed Forces and for their innovative approach to engineering solutions and have been fantastic with their backing.
“I cannot thank them enough and we hope their involvement will be the catalyst for other organisations to come forward.”
As part of their support package Acres is creating a custom tool chest to help drive further sponsorship opportunities and a portable push sled to help with the team’s training.
Luke Parker says: “When we heard about John’s story, their challenge and their innovative approach to meeting it head on we were totally inspired. We all love sport and we do what we can to support the Armed Forces and we have the kit and the skills to make a difference here.
“We are already working on the project and looking forward to being a vital cog in the wheel of this fantastic team as well as cheering them on as their season and campaign progresses.”