A new partnership between GB Snowsport, Snowsport Scotland and the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST) will see the introduction of a first-of-its-kind Para Snowsport Pathway Programme, designed to activate new participation opportunities and develop the next generation of World Championship and Paralympic athletes.
The partnership will launch with the recruitment of three coaches working across Para Alpine, Para Nordic and Para Snowboard disciplines who will work to provide the first structured link between Para Snowsport’s talent pathway and the sport’s World Class Programme.
By formalising this new strategic approach to Para Snowsport talent development, a wider pool of disabled people will be able to access snowsport, with talented individuals offered a clear pathway to represent Great Britain at the highest levels of the sport. Since 2018, GB Snowsport has overseen huge strides in the nation’s Para Snowsport programme making the nation medal-competitive in more events, classifications and disciplines than ever before. The launch of this new partnership will help to ensure those successes now broaden out to provide a sustainable pathway to support more talented disabled athletes, across a wider range of Para Snowsport disciplines.
Snowsport Scotland’s backing for the project, with the support of sportscotland, will see funding ringfenced for the appointment of two coaches, while the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team have agreed to release one of their coaching positions (Para Alpine) to take up a role in this wider talent programme. By focusing on the needs and experiences of Para Athletes at every level of snowsport, the project will work to break down barriers and support a more sustainable, inclusive pathway for disabled people to access and excel across the whole of the Para Snowsport programme.
Vicky Gosling, GB Snowsport Chief Executive, said:
“This project will play a really important role in building on the country’s proud record at the Paralympic Winter Games and in other World Class Para Snowsport competitions. This is an opportunity to show that we are leading the way in supporting disabled athletes to achieve their full potential, and will create a lasting impact throughout Britain’s snowsport community”.
Jayne Kavanagh, GB Snowsport Head of Paralympic Programmes, commented:
“The ambitions contained within this project simply wouldn’t be achievable without the support of a whole network of partners, and I am delighted that we will be working alongside Snowsport Scotland, sportscotland and the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team”.
“We know that our work has to go beyond simply achieving world class performance to building a world class culture around the support provided to disabled athletes. The launch of this project is a huge step forward in that respect, and we look forward to getting underway immediately”.
Trafford Wilson, Snowsport Scotland Chief Executive, added:
“Snowsport Scotland is excited and motivated by this new opportunity to work with partner organisations to increase para-snowsport participation and to develop and strengthen coach and athlete pathways. This new funding opportunity builds on the momentum gained over the past 3 years, following partnership investment to support our able-bodied Alpine, Park & Pipe and Nordic performance programmes”.
Liz Winfield, COO, Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team, said:
“We are delighted to partner in this incredible project that has the ability to transform people’s access and experience of Para Snowsport. Through the work of AFPST, we regularly see the transformational impact of sport, and to be part of something that can bring this to more people is superb. This partnership further strengthens our ongoing relationship with GBS and we are thrilled to support this programme”.
The Para Snowsport Pathway Programme will get underway immediately, with recruitment for the three discipline coaches. In March, Great Britain will send a team to the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games where GB Snowsport athletes will represent Great Britain across Para Alpine, Para Snowboard, Para Cross Country and Para Nordic.
For more information on Great Britain’s World Class Para Snowsport teams, visit GB Snowsport.
For more information on the Para Nordic and Para Snowboard Pathway Coach positions and to apply, visit Snowsport Scotland.