Quinn Estates has agreed a sponsorship deal for two of Team GB’s Olympic athletes for the second year running.
Dave Ryding and Alex Tilley represented their country at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea earlier this year.
World Cup racer Ryding finished in an impressive ninth place in the men’s slalom final, while Tilley crashed out early but still finished the season ranked inside the top 30 in the world.
The sponsorship deal is the second consecutive package the skiers have agreed with Quinn Estates – a leading property developer in the South East, which is rapidly developing a growing reputation for itself as a supporter of community sport facilities and promising and emerging sporting talent.
The sport is particularly close to the heart of Quinn Estates’ managing director, Mark Quinn, who skied for the national team and went on to race on the international ski race circuit, before switching to pursue a career in ski coaching. He became the youngest top qualified ski instructor and trainer in Britain. He then retired, aged 24, to set up his own business in property development.
Twenty years since building Quinn Estates from scratch into one of the South East’s most successful property development companies, Mark continues to do all he can to support the sport that first made his name.
The sponsorships packages will provide Ryding and Tilley with the means to buy equipment, fund travel and contributing to the team expenses, amongst other expenditures.
Mark Quinn said: “We are delighted to be working with Dave and Alex again this year and to have played a small part in their success.
“It was great to track their progress in the last season, and see how our sponsorship allowed them to focus more on their training, allowing them to achieve the best possible results.
“The ethos of the sporting world, and skiing in particular for me represents the same values of Quinn Estates – relentless commitment, drive and determination.
“I am proud to back these two athletes again and look forward to continuing our relationship with each one as their career continues to grow from strength to strength. We wish them the best of luck for the season ahead.”
Dave Ryding, the self-styled ‘Rocket of the Piste’ from Lancashire, was introduced to the slopes at six years old. By the age of eight he was whizzing down the slopes at the French Alps resort of Samoens. It didn’t take long for his talent to get noticed - including selection for the England Ski Team and a place in the England and British Championships. In 2006 he became British Junior Champion.
To date, he has competed in three Olympics, four World Championships, and won the Europa Cup. His best World Cup result is a runner-up in the slalom inKitzbühel, his sole podium.
Dave Ryding said: “When Mark got in touch, he explained that he used to ski at a high level so I guess it’s in his blood. He wanted to come onboard with a sponsorship that would make things better for me, so I could invest more in my training. The first thing his funding contributed towards was ensuring my gym equipment was completely up to scratch. I was also paying a considerable sum towards the team, so that’s immediately taken a huge pressure off to find that money.”
It’s great to have someone like Mark onboard, who’s fanatical about skiing and obviously made a very good career for himself. To have someone like that behind you really is an honour. It gives you more motivation that people believe in you, that they’re proud of what you’re achieving and want to help you go forward - I’m very fortunate.
“Last year, I achieved my childhood dream of being ranked in the top 30. More recently, I came out of the Winter Olympics placed ninth in the men’s slalom. Now, I don’t set myself limits anymore. I’ll take each race as its comes and just want to keep improving. Let’s see where that takes me!”
Alex Tilley began skiing at the age of eight, showing real aptitude for the sport even then. Coming from Torphins in Aberdeenshire, she was well-placed to have the slopes as her playground. After spending many Sundays skiing at the Scottish ski resort of The Lecht, she went on to place 2nd in 2004 at the Mini Brits (the British Champs for under 12 year olds) and never looked back. At the age of 16 she made the decision to become a full-time ski racer and at 20 had her first taste of the FIS World Cup.
Her career highlights to date include 11 World Cup starts, 24th position in the 2015 World Championships, nine British Championship titles, and one top ten Europa Cup.
Alex Tilley said: “Finishing the season ranked inside the top 30 in the world is a huge milestone for me. I may look back at a few moments during the season where I know I could have done better, but I am incredibly happy and proud to end up where I have. I'm feeling incredibly motivated and excited about the job in hand next year and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Quinn Estates for their ongoing support. As time goes on, being able to afford the smaller details in a programme becomes more and more difficult, but with the support of my sponsors, I can afford to be part of a programme that is good enough to compete with the big dogs of our sport!”