Supporting the recovery of our wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans through the restorative power of competitive Snowsports

Armed Forces Para Snowsports Team 2022/2023 Season Review – by Elizabeth Burgess

Competition is at Our Core

In September 2022 we held a Newcomers Event in Castleford to welcome potential beneficiaries to the team. The day was a roaring success, with the chance to strengthen old friendships and make new ones both on and off the slopes. After lockdown, the ability to meet face to face and get back onto the snow was a liberating experience. A two-day race in Castleford in October was followed by a further two-day race event in November, to ready the team for the year ahead.

Since the New Year we were then pretty busy with a Snowboard Team participating at the Royal Navy Ski & Snowboard Championships in Tignes, our Alpine Team attending the Divisional Championships and Army Championships in Serre Chevalier, our nordic team descending on France for a training camp, and we had AFPST Athletes competing at the British and Inter Service Telemark Championships AFPST Telemark

World Class AFPST Athletes

Last season, we had six athletes take part in the Beijing Paralympic and as we have launched into the start of the next cycle we have a number of Athletes on the pathway programmes with real potential for the Paralympics in 2026. Also Shona Brownlee, Alex Slegg, Scott Meenagh and Steve Arnold remain on World  Class programmes, although sadly all UK Sport funding was removed from the Para Nordic Programme despite Scott’s 6th place finish at the Paralympics! But hey we like a challenge and proving what is possible as we dare to dream.

This dream certainly came true for Scott Meenagh at the World Para Nordic Championships in January 2023 when he secured the first ever medal for Biathlon, taking home Silver in the 12.5km Biathlon. We were so proud of Scott and the Teams journey, we are hoping this might be enough to secure some future funding.

World Marathon Challenge 777!
For AFPST Athlete Darren Edwards kayaking from Lands’ End to John O’Groats last year that took 26 days, spanned 1400 kms and raised a tremendous £100,000 wasn’t enough; so January 2023 we saw him take on the World Marathon Challenge. Seven Marathons, in seven continents over seven days. Joining him was AFPST Athlete Sally Orange, Luke Wigman and Carl Simmons who also completed the challenge. Darren broke records being the first disabled person to complete this event and raised over £75K!

International Competition
Then it was time for the season finale in Colorado! The AFPST has always been known for igniting the competitive spirit in our athletes, and this event held in Winter Park was the biggest yet. We were thrilled to have an Invictus Foundation Team of Athletes from Ukraine, Romania, Columbia, Australia, Canada, and Nigeria join us on the snow. With so many adaptive athletes competing, the energy at the event was unparalleled, showing just what is possible as we push boundaries, challenge perception, and change lives together. You can watch the AFPST Winter Park video to get a glimpse of the action.

This year, our goal was to engage with our athletes, bringing the team together and giving them a renewed sense of purpose and direction. America was the perfect setting to achieve this, and our ten-day trip to Winter Park was centered entirely around our athletes. It was an incredibly unifying experience for our 80-strong team, set against the backdrop of blue skies, pristine snow-covered runs, and breathtaking mountain scenery.

Each of the three snowsport disciplines organized two races for our athletes. Competition remained the primary focus of the event, culminating in a prize-giving ceremony to celebrate some truly outstanding performances. We have to give a huge thanks to our amazing American hosts, who provided support and adaptive sports equipment. The YMCA in the Rockies proved to be the ideal adaptive-friendly location for our stay, offering reasonable prices. We are incredibly grateful for their hospitality.

We would also like to give a special mention to our athletes, who were simply incredible. Each of them embraced the spirit of competition and showcased what can be achieved with determination and perseverance. They were a true inspiration to us all.

Major Nikki Jordan, Alpine Performance Coach, AFPST

Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team – Alpine Update 2021/22 Season

Supporting the recovery of our wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans through the restorative power of competitive Snowsports

We help serving military personnel and veterans recover both mentally and physically through challenge and competition on snow. From beginners joining our Foundation Team to Winter Paralympic hopefuls, we offer opportunities for all.

The Paralympic year started the way we could only have dreamt back in 2018, when the current crop of AFPST performance team athletes came together for the first time on the slopes of Serre Chevalier. After a successful career in military ski racing herself, Major Nikki Jordan had begun the journey of coaching the exiting talent of Dan Sheen, Alex Slegg, Shona Brownlee and Kevin Drake and the Army Ski Championships had brought them together to exhibit the power of winter sport in assisting the recovery of wounded service personnel. Even back then, it was clear that the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games in 2022 was possible for these athletes and inclusion as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme to observe at the PyeongChang Games served to further whet our appetite.

Since that point, the performance team progressed together with a kindred sense of purpose and connection to each other as teammates, and to our common goal of selection for the 2022 Paralympics. In August 2021, GB Snowsport announced selection of the three sitting athletes, Shona, Dan and Alex, onto the GB Para-Alpine Squad for Paralympic year. We were close.

During the next few months, the athletes seemed to go from strength to strength, drawing confidence from their selection and bringing in results which cemented their place on the team. Though we worked hard to give Kevin the best chance we could for late inclusion, the standing category for male athletes was higher than it had ever been before and when selection for the World Championships was announced, it was the three sitting athletes who again were invited.


This set of races were held in Lillehammer in Jan 22, delayed from 2020 due to COVID and were an incredible experience for everybody, with the stand out results from Shona Brownlee, winning a silver medal in the women’s sitting category for Super G.

Selection for the Paralympics was announced in Feb 22 and the same three sitting athletes made the team, with Nikki Jordan selected as lead sit-ski coach. It was the culmination of our hopes and dreams for the last four years and we had achieved something never done before; three alpine AFPST athletes at the Winter Paralympic Games!

Beijing was incredible, even through the haze of COVID restrictions, we were able to savour the full experience, training and racing on the brutal pistes against legends that we had watched videos of and who had awed us over the years before. Outstanding runs in Super G for Shona and Slalom for Alex and Dan were moments that will stay with us all forever and the atmosphere of the opening ceremony at the Birds Eye arena will be an experience to treasure.

The journey for one coach and these four athletes has been more than just skiing. It has been proof that anything is possible after life-changing circumstances, if only we dare to dream.