Sprints and skeletons!

Our bobsleigh/skeleton push-start track is 140m of pure speed.

When someone mentions skeleton bob or bobsleigh, you think of an athlete flying down a frozen track. You wouldn’t think that tucked away, in a corner of our University, above the Georgian city of Bath, is the UK’s only push-start track.

Competition in bobsleigh and skeleton events is strong and a good start is essential to achieving a successful time. Without a good start, usually within a tenth of a second of the fastest time, a first place finish becomes almost impossible. That’s why having the chance to practice sprint starts and pushing all year round is invaluable.

Our 140m push-start track was opened in 2002 by Lord Glentoran, who won the Gold Medal for the Two-Man Bobsleigh at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympic Games. In a country not known for its sporting prowess in Winter sports, our track and sport research has since helped athletes such as Amy Williams and Lizzie Yarnold go on to win Gold and celebrate on podiums around the world.

After Amy and Lizzie’s triumph we were inundated with requests to try the track so we opened it up to the local community. At our track open days, people were able to enjoy a sport that combines sprinting, sledging and riding a roller coaster and race down the track at speeds of up to 40mph. Not quite the speeds reached by skeleton and bobsleigh athletes (up to 100mph!), but still a race to remember!