A HUDDERSFIELD company is leading the way by being the first to sponsor one of the GB’s winter Olympics team.

Britannia Rescue is ploughing thousands of pounds to try to help the men’s and women’s bobsleigh teams to glory early next year.

The sponsorship deal with the British Bobsleigh Association runs for a year and includes the run-up to the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games next February.

The deal means Britannia Rescue – based in St George’s Square – will provide funding for the team’s training needs.

The British bobsleigh team is one of Britain’s top medal hopes at the Winter Olympics.

The sponsorship will include Britannia Rescue branded bobsleighs and training kit – but Olympic rules mean the branding must be removed during the Olympics.

The British bobsleigh team of 24 sportsmen and women includes Yorkshire girl, Nicola Minichiello, who is both part of the mixed team and captain of the women’s team.

Nicola, 31, who lives in Sheffield first took part in the Olympics on behalf of the UK in Salt Lake City in 2002.

She also took part in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and won a silver medal in the world championships in 2005 and 2009.

As well as a professional athlete she is employed by the youth sports trust as an athlete mentor and graduated as a teacher from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002.

Nicola said: “This deal is great news for the whole team. By securing sponsorship with Britannia Rescue in the run-up to the winter Olympics we are in the best possible position to win a medal at the games.

“Bobsleigh is an amazing sport and Britannia Rescue is a great company for us to be connected with.”

Britannia Rescue is the fourth largest breakdown provider in the UK and is part of the LV insurance, investment and pensions group of companies.

The company operates a network of over 300 independent rescue agents across the UK and its average response time to callouts is under 40 minutes.

General manager Simon Stevens said: “Bobsleigh is a fast and dynamic Olympic sport and this is a great fit with the Britannia Rescue business.’’