AFPST: Put Yourself in Their Boots

AFPST: Put Yourself in Their Boots

It’s all about recovery and freedom on the snow

We are an all-volunteer, independent service charity who use competitive para-snowsport as a means to support and accelerate the recovery of our wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

Our experienced team of volunteers provide adaptive snowsport instruction to those with a physical or psychological condition, where help in recovery can be achieved in a competitive sporting environment.

We nurture a team ethos where every individual is important to us.

Our aim is to help restore self-esteem and foster a sense of purpose by creating an opportunity for every athlete to experience the exhilarating freedom of snowsport. We run a comprehensive programme for all abilities in three adaptive disciplines – Snowboarding, Alpine and Nordic Skiing. Bespoke training is offered to every athlete, regardless of ability. Although primarily focused upon providing inexperienced team members with drive and purpose, we also create the opportunity for aspiring athletes to compete on the world stage.

An inspirational short video The Journey created by film-maker John Holden provides a glimpse into the charity and how our beneficiaries have responded to the opportunities available to them.

Inspiration comes in many guises….

When it comes to our athletes, every single one of them offers a unique insight into how perseverance and bravery can get you through the most difficult of times. Collectively and individually, they are all quite simply inspirational.

Put yourself in their boots…..

Can you imagine tackling a slalom run at 70km an hour with grace and precision, when completely blind? How about operating a sit-ski on a Nordic trail with only your arms to propel you along? Would you dive down the steepest mogul field on your snowboard, with both your lower legs missing? How do you ski at all when you are battling with PTSD, a condition that can be triggered at any moment? Our athletes can. It is their bravery and fighting spirit that makes our snow family so special. We offer them a chance to experience independence and freedom on snow. In return, they astound us with their personal achievements both on and off the slopes. To push boundaries and to taste success helps us all achieve great things in life. Our athletes are testament to that.

‘I can now truly say that I have got the fire in my belly back and I’m feeling part of something again – a team and a family.
Troy Connor – Para Nordic Athlete

We’re not just about being on snow….

Pulling together as a team isn’t just for the winter season, a theory that has been tested fully over the last year. It is fair to say that 2020 has not panned out quite as we originally planned. Like everyone else, we’ve had to find new, innovative ways to stay in touch with our wider snow family. We’ve tried all sorts to keep spirits up – from quiz nights to branded face masks. This month, we’ve launched the ‘AFPST Let’s Get Active’ in partnership with Battle Ready 360 and Ollie Ollerton. The aim is to help deliver health and well-being sessions for all our athletes and staff. Every participating athlete has received a Battlebox, containing key fitness equipment and access to some awe-inspiring workout sessions, to help maintain fitness and keep spirits up during lockdown.

Despite current restrictions, our Performance Teams have remained active on the slopes, their sights still firmly fixed on the Paralympics in 2022. The Para Nordic Athletes are training out in the USA ahead of their first competition of the season. Owen Pick, a Snowboarder, is currently training out of Finland and our sit skiers have done exceptionally well in both the Europa Cup and World Cup this year. Our focus is now on the next season, when we hope to resume our program fully.

“AFPST continues to have an enormous impact on my recovery. Having a goal to focus on has made a huge difference to my morale. Prior to the charity’s involvement, I was forever being told I couldn’t do things. The AFPST has proved I can”.
Senior Aircraftman Shona Brownlee – Para Alpine Athlete

How to get involved?

We are a not-for-profit organisation and therefore entirely reliant upon the generosity of others. We welcome any donations from private or corporate donors, large or small. Why not use the competitive nature of the charity to kick-start your own fund raising efforts?

Kayak 4 Heroes plans to make a splash for AFPST

Four of our intrepid, incredibly fit and determined athletes have decided to take the word ‘challenge’ and move it up a notch or two. In June 2021, the Kayak 4 Heroes team intends to navigate some of the UK’s most challenging waters in a bid to paddle from Land’s End to John O’Groats by Kayak – a distance of 1,400 kilometres.  They have set a target to raise over £1000,000 for the AFPST and we are enormously proud of them. To follow their journeying, please go to For more information about our athletes and the work we do, you can visit Find us on Facebook Instagram Linked In

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