Ignite are proud sponsors of the Great Britain Skeleton talent squad. Let's meet the ambitious bunch hoping for Olympic medal success in future Winter Games.
Philippa Brett, 23, officially joined the GB Skeleton Talent Squad alongside Stefan Squire and Hannah Warburton in the spring of 2016. Her journey to the world of winter sports started with the UK Sport Power2Podium programme in 2014, after her younger sister, Maria, persuaded her to try out. After impressing in the initial stages of the Power2Podium process, Philippa was handed her first experience on ice in 2015 and immediately fell in love with the sport. A season as part of the Future Talent group followed in 2015/16 and she was then selected to join the Talent Squad on a permanent basis ahead of the current season.
Brogan Crowley, 20, entered the British Skeleton programme through the Power2Podium scheme after seeing an advertisement following the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. She had always wanted to participate in a winter sport but wasn't sure what sport would suit her best. A former Great Britain junior heptathlete, Brogan had been struggling with an ankle injury due to a repetitive nature of the jumping and throwing events within that sport and taking on a new challenge with skeleton came at the perfect time in her career.
Eleanor Furneaux, 21, was a sailor until the age of 14, sailing catamarans with her brother Angus and earning selection for the Olympic Development Squad. When she moved to Bath to start a degree in Contemporary Arts Practice at Bath Spa University, Eleanor began training at the University of Bath Sports Training village and became aware of the British Skeleton squad. A growing interest in winter sports and a desire to compete again motivated her to initially attend trials for the British Bobsleigh team before Joey Walton, her friend and a British Weightlifting athlete, suggested she turn her attentions to skeleton. Eleanor did just that, seeing off 1,000 other applicants to earn a place in the Talent Squad.
Tim Hull, 22, first steps towards the British Skeleton Talent Squad came via the official website after he was inspired to learn more abut the sport following the nation's success in both Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympics. He applied to try skeleton through the Power2Podium programme and is yet another example of the diverse backgrounds the athletes come from. A county level badminton player, Tim won the North Staffs Summer Singles League title at the age of 16 and competing in doubles with his brother Josh at the England 17-21 Inter-Country Championships.
Kim Murray, 26, joined the Talent squad in December 2014 through the Power2Podium programme having previously excelled in the long jump. She still holds the NatWest Island Games record in that event, thanks to a jump of 5.95m in 2007 while competing for the Isle of Wight. Kim won gold and sliver medals at the 2011 BUCS Indoor Athletics Championships to help the University of Bath to fourth place overall but switched to skeleton at the age of 26.
Madelaine Smith, 21, applied to join the British Skeleton squad through the Power2Podium programme in 2014 on the advice of GB aerial skier and personal friend Lloyd Wallace. A keen sportswomen from a very young age. Madelaine swam at country level and held a number of records from age 8-15. She then turned her attentions to athletics and competed in sprint hurdles at the Olympic trails and British Championships, amongst other competitions.
Stefan Squire, 22, officially joined the GB Skeleton Talent Squad alongside Philippa Brett and Hannah Stevenson in the spring of 2016. His pathway into the sport came through the UK Sport Power2Podium programme in 2014 and he gained his first sliding experience the following year. A season as part of the Future Talent group followed in 2015/16, before he linked up with the squad as a whole prior to the start of the current winter campaign. His sporting background features county level swimming in Staffordshire and athletics at Bromsgrove School Sixth Form but his main love prior to skeleton was rugby union. Stefan played for Newbridge RFC in the Welsh Championship whilst studying in Cardiff, as well as Whakarewarewa RFC in New Zealand.
Hannah Stevenson, 22, joined the GB Skeleton Talent Squad alongside Philippa Brett and Stefan Squire prior to the start of the 2016 summer season.Her permanent place in the Talent Squad followed a season as part of the Future Talent group in 2015/16, during which she impressed both on and off ice in the UK and abroad. Like Philippa and Stefan, Hannah’s pathway into the sport came via the UK Sport Power2Podium programme in 2014. She gained her first on-ice experience the following year and will continue to step up her sliding credentials throughout the current campaign. Previously a sprinter for Notts Athletics Club, Hannah reached several English Schools 200m finals and won a brace of bronze medals at the BUCS Championships in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays while studying at Sheffield Hallam University.
Craig Thompson, 23, switched to skeleton through the Power2Podium programme at the end of 2014 having previously spent much of his sporting career playing football. A versatile attacking player who started off in centre midfield but became equally comfortable out wide or up front. He also enjoyed athletics, competing for Swindon Harriers in the 100m, 200m and sprint relay from 12-15 before skeleton presented him with chance to fulfil a lengthy ambition of representing his country on the international stage.
Marcus Wyatt, 23, joined the Talent squad through the Power2Podium talent ID scheme in the aftermath of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. A keen follower of winter sports on television, skeleton had often caught Marcus' eye and he jumped at the opportunity to get involved, especially as he had always wanted to become an international sportsman. Marcus' sporting backing is somewhat different to most of his contemporaries in that his first love was American Football. A regular MVP for Farnham Knights and Swansea University Titans as a wide receiver, Marcus led the latter to the National Challenge Trophy in 2014.