RAF Coningsby corporal sets his sights on Bobsleigh success

Cpl Jonny Anderson in action
Cpl Jonny Anderson in action

A corporal at RAF Coningsby could be on course for Olympic stardom - as a member of the Great Britain’s Bobsleigh team.

He works as part of an operations team whose responsibilities include providing fuel to all the aircraft at the base, including frontline Typhoon fighters.

But when it comes to sport, Jonny is something of a daredevil.

He likes nothing better than to hurtle down icy tracks as part of the country’s elite bobsleigh crew.

Jonny was a top class sprinter and won a gold medal in the inter-services games before making a pretty dramatic switch.

He explained: “I have always been interested in Bobsleigh and have seen other RAF athletes go on to great success in the sport, some getting to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“In 2013, I put my name down for trials with the RAF Bobsleigh team at Bath University.

“I was selected for the novice ice camp and from that I competed in the 2013 Inter Services event, which we ended up winning.”

Not surprisingly, Jonny’s impressive performances caught the eye of GB selectors .

After successful trials, he was named in the national squad.

Johnny explained: “Every year ,British Bobsleigh holds open trials to recruit new squad members.

“Much like the RAF trials, they consist of sprints, standing long jumps and a simulated push. “

Jonny had to meet a number of pre-set standards and his career as a sprinter was a big help.

A time of 10.8 seconds for the 100m meant he was ideally suited to helping ensure a quick-fire start for bobsleighs.

After a summer of ‘testing’ at Bath University, Jonny was selected in the GB squad for the 2014-15 Europa Cup.

He explained: “I competed with GB in both two and four man events in France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

“The forces have a strong tie within British Bobsleigh.

“Currently the GB 1 and 2 pilots and 2 brakemen are all serving members of the UK forces.

He added: “Competing for GB is a lot like serving in the military, as part of a crew we form a strong team spirit and everyone has his own role to play both on and off the ice.”

Sliding down a mile of ice at up to 90mph dressed in lycra and a motorcycle helmet does presents obvious risks.

Jonny added: “Injuries happen when you compete at an elite level - from muscle tears and strains to injuries associated with crashing - but we have a great support team who keep us going.”

Jonny is about to start his second season as a member of the GB team.

His sights are set firmly on the 2018 Winter Olympics and he admits all the bumps and bruises will be worth it - if he brings a gold medal back to Coningsby.