The Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST) – formerly the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST) – is a charitable organisation, run by military and ex-military volunteers, which uses adaptive alpine skiing, snowboarding and Nordic/biathlon, to enhance the recovery of Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel, both serving and veteran. It reintroduces the spirit of challenge and competition that they were accustomed to as part of normal military life. At its heart is a performance ethos which provides a competitive winter sports focus for disabled athletes to complement the numerous adaptive summer sports offered by the Battle Back programme.
Adaptive skiing is so called because of the innovative adaptions necessary to cater for the individual’s post-injury abilities. It has a great history as one of the oldest sports for disabled people throughout the world. Uniquely, it provides a freedom from disability; using gravity to aid mobility and give the opportunity to once more feel the wind in the face. The equality of gravity gives disabled and able-bodied athletes a more equal start; it allows for inclusive and integrated competition.
The AFPST improves the confidence, resilience and skill of every disabled athlete through individual investment and high-quality coaching. This process encourages the raw talent of near beginners, introducing those who show promise to the world of para-snowsport racing, and provides high-level performance coaching up to International level for the most advanced skiers. It does this through a progressive programme of events, being fed by established activities such as the military’s Exercise Snow Warrior (Adaptive), and other charities such as BLESMA, Blind Veterans UK or Skiing with Heroes.
Following a series of indoor training in UK Snow Centres, those that wish to take their para-snowsports further are able to attend our Autumn Skills Camp in Austria, during which their techniques are improved. At the end of this, athletes are taught elementary racing techniques and are introduced to ‘race gates’. Those that show aptitude and a desire to progress further, are then able to participate in the full range of military alpine races from Corps/Unit level through to racing at the Inter Service Championships.
Those athletes who show real promise are encouraged to race at International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing (IPCAS) and then at Europa Cup level. If they achieve the requisite points, they may be invited to join the Para-Snowsports GB Team (PSGB) for their continued progression through North America Cup levels before progressing on to World Cup and Paralympic competition.
AFPST’s aim is to aid the recovery of serving and veteran wounded, injured and sick through the medium of performance para-snowsport, Ultimately, this could feed athletes into Para-Snowsports GB, with the ultimate goal of participation in the Winter Paralympic Games.
We hope you are able to join us, if so please complete the registration form on this page. If you have any questions please contact Nick Neubert.