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.