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Stars of the snow

With wounded personnel making an impact at both the summer and winter Paralympics in recent years it appears the Service’s conveyor belt of sporting talent is reaching top speed.

The physical and mental attributes that make soldiers so successful in the day job are ideally suited to the world of elite competition – a point that was perfectly illustrated when Dave Henson, a former captain in the Royal Engineers, took bronze on the Rio track in 2016.

Another Games cycle – this time on snow and ice – is now in full swing and the spotlight will again turn to the military community for a new clutch of medal contenders when the action starts in 12 months' time.

The Alpine ski disciplines are already well catered for but a new Nordic programme is giving troops the chance to shine and, so far, it is proving to be an opportunity to relish.

Headed up by Maj Elizabeth Winfield (RLC) as part of the Armed Forces Para Snowsports Team, the initiative was run as a pilot scheme last year and boasts a mix of performance athletes and foundation skiers who will be testing themselves in a hectic run of fixtures in the coming weeks.

A six-strong contingent competed at a World Cup event in the Ukraine and February started with a training camp in Ruhpolding ahead of one of the season’s major events – the World Championships. 

Invictus Games veterans Scott Meenagh (pictured), who served in The Parachute Regiment, and former Royal Engineer Steve Arnold will lead the team’s charge alongside returning star Terry Aherns.

Read more in the March 2017 issue of Soldier.


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