Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team
Brigadier Fred Hargreaves OBE
The Armed Forces ParaSnowsport Team (AFPST) have continued to broaden the opportunity for wounded, injured or sick (WIS) Service people and veterans to use snowsport to aid their recovery. The original adaptive Alpine programme has evolved participation across the foundation, race and performance teams to include an instructor development pathway for WIS who aspire to train for a career in snowsports. At the national level, Captain Jen Kehoe, our Performance Manager and visually impaired guide for Menna Fitzpatrick won the International Paralympic Committee World Cup Super G Crystal Globe, with Brett Wilde (Royal Navy) and Gary Smith (Royal Air Force) guiding two other British visually-impaired medallists.
The adaptive Snowboard programme now has its own management structure, with Owen Pick and Swifty working with the national squad focused on the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Most impressively perhaps is the rapid maturation of the Nordic/biathlon squad, whose performance team are now also the British squad, and are racing in the first British uniforms seen on the ParaNordic circuit for some 20 years.
The AFPST has equally continued to develop its relationship with other Service charities, such as BLESMA, Help for Heroes, Blind Veterans UK and The Soldiers Charity, as well as retaining strong links with Exercise Snow Warrior (Adaptive). The fall off of operational casualties has not diminished the need amongst our WIS for the variety and challenge of snowsports to aid their physical and mental recovery.