Bobsleigher Bradley Hall has set his sights on the 2018 Winter Olympics after narrowly missing out on the Sochi Games this month. However, the 23-year-old needs sponsorship to help him towards his target.
Hall started athletics when he was 15, competing in the decathlon until he was 21, when he was forced to stop due to constant shin splints from the intense training which meant competing at his best level was impossible.
The Crawley athlete showed promising signs from a young age as he won silver at the South of England Championships for the under-17 octathlon and he has also held the Sussex County and Crawley AC records for the decathlon.
Amongst his local success, he was also ranked fifth in the UK for the discus with a throw of 50.92m.
But the persistent string of injuries meant Hall was unable to continue his athletics career.
Hall said: “Over the years my motivation to try and reach my potential dwindled as I took one step forward and two steps back as the reoccurring injury knocked me back time and time again.”
In 2011 he attended Power 2 Podium, a talent identification programme run by UK Sport, where he was selected to be part of the skeleton programme.
Hall reached the last ten but didn’t progress any further after a trial in Norway, but after taking up bobsledding soon after he hasn’t ‘looked back since’.
He said: “A few weeks later in the summer I was then asked if I wanted to trial for bobsleigh where I was successful, and I haven’t looked back since.
“I started bobsledding at 21 and since then I have never had the injuries I previously had whilst doing athletics.”
In the 2012-13 season, his first year of competing on ice, Hall finished fifth as part of the GB3 team at the Europa Cup circuit.
The athlete described competing at his first World Junior Championships in Austria as ‘nerve-racking’, but he gained confidence from feeling comfortable with the track and finished 12th.
He then finished second in the two-man and four-man events where he pushed behind driver Will Golder at the British Championships.
At the most recent World Junior Championships, held in Germany last weekend, Hall finished 20th in the two-man event - although the pair’s push start was ranked 6th out of the whole field, highlighting Hall’s potential.
He was in contention for the upcoming Winter Olympics but by the end of pre-season testing it looked doubtful.
Hall suffered minor injuries which prevented him from training throughout the summer.
He said: “This was the point when I knew it would be extremely difficult to make the Olympic Games.
“I was disappointed at the time but I knew I had age on my side and I would have plenty more Olympic Games to aim for in the future.
“At the moment I am the highest ranked athlete for my age from results on the push track in Bath, which shows I have great potential for the next Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018.”
He now wants to convert to being a driver of the sled, known as a pilot in the world of bobsledding, as he believes he has a good understanding of the sport from his time spent competing in skeleton.
He added: “I think if I’m given the opportunity I can do some great things.
“I want to be a pilot so that I could have my destiny in my own hands and have greater control over my own success.”
The national governing body has displayed an interest in developing him as a pilot, but his future hinges on how Great Britain performs at the Olympics - success will lead to funding that can be used to develop new drivers.
Hall said: “If I get adequate sponsorship to compete at the British Championships it will give me a chance to demonstrate my ability as a driver and secure investment towards the next Olympic Games.
“Without funding for this I may never be able to fulfil my potential.”
If you are interested in sponsoring Hall, email him at Bradley_hall_02@hotmail.com
He can offer business advertising space on the sled during competitions.