It’s with great pleasure that I welcome all of the Athletes, Officials, Military VIPs and Sponsors attending the UK Armed Forces Winter Sports programme for 2017. Once again this year, the best winter sports athletes from the UK’s Armed Services will be competing against each other at the Snowsports Championships in Meribel (Alpine, Telemark and Snowboard), the Ice Championships in Ruhpolding, and of course the Cresta in St Moritz.
As Chairman of the UKAF WSA, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Charity, it is a great privilege to be able to welcome Lieutenant General Paul Jacques to his first season as our new President. I’d also like to welcome all of our volunteer organisers and officials. Without them all we would be unable to deliver safe and challenging competitions that build the skills, courage and values that we need in our Servicemen and Women, and that also meet the expectations of our Athletes, the Senior Military Offices who support us, and the sponsors who generously enable our activities. We are indebted, as always, to the communities of each of the venues for making us so welcome, but my biggest thanks go to our Sponsors and our Singles Service winter sports associations, without whose support none of our activities would be possible. Because of the generosity of our Sponsors, we are able to run competitions of a nationals standard and reduce costs considerably for competitors. Each competitor joins us at the Inter Service events at the very top of his or her game, after successfully competing in their own Single Service Championships.
I am also delighted to welcome the Armed Forces Para-Snowsports Team, who will, once again I am sure, fill us with inspiration and admiration in Meribel. I would like to record my sincere gratitude for the efforts of officials from all 3 Services, who help to make these events work and ensure that they are safe and enjoyable competitions for all. The slickness of the organisation will be testament to their efforts and will, I know, greatly contribute to your enjoyment. I’m also very grateful for the support of our Senior Officers, who manage to snatch a few days away from their very busy diaries to help encourage and support us. Lastly, to the competitors – I wish you all the very best of luck for a highly competitive and enjoyable championships.