Sir John Ritblat has been providing funding and support for British Snow Sports for almost 40 years.

Without Sir John, and the backing of British Land and then Delancey it is quite possible that skiers and snowboarders representing Great Britain would not be competing at the highest level of our sport as they currently are.

The Pery Medal was instituted in 1929 by Hon E.C. Pery, later the Earl of Limerick DSO, who was President of the Ski Club from 1925-27. This week the award was presented to Sir John by the current Earl of Limerick, grandson of E.C. Pery. The Medal was presented at the Ski Club's clubhouse in Wimbledon in the presence of a number of industry figures and British Ski and Snowboard Athletes.

The Pery Medal, one of Ski Club's Inspire Awards may be awarded to a skier, individual or organization of any nationality who have either:

  • Made a notable contribution to our knowledge of mountain craft in relation to skiing
  • Achieved distinction in exploration on skis
  • Notably advanced the technique of skiing
  • Made an outstanding contribution to the success of competitive international skiing
  • Made an outstanding contribution to the development of snowsports

The Pery Medal is the highest honour that can be bestowed by The Ski Club. Last week The Club honoured an up and coming athlete, Thomas Gherkin Schofield, with the presentation of The Evie Pinching Award, who was herself a previous recipient of The Pery Medal. The Evie Pinching Award recognises young athletes with a very promising future ahead of them, however The Pery Medal this year honours someone who has been supporting UK snowsports athletes for the last 40 years.

Two of the British athletes that were able to continue their Olympic dream expressed the thanks to Sir John’s support:

Chemmy Alcott

“Sir John has been the back bone for British skiing for as long as I can remember. He has been instrumental in every success we have achieved as a nation. But on a personal level, he was one of my mother's great friends and now mine. His unparalleled passion for our sport is incredibly infectious. Sir John's joie de vivre and smiley face which is always there ready to congratulate you is a memory that will stay with me forever. I am so sorry I can't be there this evening to celebrate your award but I can honestly not think of anyone who deserves this more.”

Zoe Gillings

“I would like to thank Sir John Ritblat for the support he’s given snowsports over many years. Personally, I benefited from his support during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics at a vital point in my career. I’d like to pass on my congratulations to him on a very well-deserved award!”

Find out more about Ski Club's Inspire Awards here.