VICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – 2016 AGM

The AWSA has had its best season ever. With the reduction in operational commitments, levels of participation are well up on previous levels and I expect this trend to continue. Snow conditions were reasonable, but this did not detract from some excellent competition.

The following provides a flavour of the Disciplines:

Alpine. The Army Championships, held in Serre Chevalier for the 25th consecutive year, was a great success. Capt Duncan White YORKS was the Army Male champion for the first time, and once again Capt Lizzie Cranfield AAC was the Female Champion. There were some new faces in the Army Alpine Teams; despite this, both Teams won in Meribel at the Inter-Services Championships. WO2 Dougie MacPherson RLC won the Male with Capt Jen Kehoe RE second in the Female events.

Cresta. Army Cresta continued to improve and fielded a strong team of six riders in the Inter-Services Championship. Capt Seccombe RY won the individual title again, with the team victorious in the team event for the first time in since 2013.

Ice Sports. The Ice Camp in Igls was hugely successful with over 75 competitors taking up sliding on ice in the three pursuits for the first time. Taking these individuals further in the sports is still a challenge. The Army Championships was held at Winterberg from 29 Feb to 6 Mar 16, a week before the IS Championships, which was not ideal. The latter were held jointly in Winterberg the following week and success for once was limited. Only the female Skeleton team took the honours with Sgt (now Capt) Hayley Larcombe QARANC winning the individual female Skeleton title. The RAF showed strength in depth and took the other four Ice Sports titles.

Nordic. Exercise RUCKSACK took place as usual in Ruhpolding and was successful, despite less than perfect snow conditions, although all races took place. There were 238 skiers from 33 teams participating. Both the Navy and RAF took part in the Inter-Services events, which was great news. There was also a UK Armed Forces (UKAF) team event for the first time against a Swedish Engineer Regiment, which was won by the UKAF team. 16 Regt RA was the Champion Army Nordic Unit Ski Team, and 1 Regt RLC won the Princess Marina Cup for the 8th year in succession.

Snowboard. Snowboard’s growth continues apace. The calendar was revised in 2013 and there were two Championships, both held in Stubia, Austria. The first, Ex SNOW METHOD, was from 17 to 31 Oct 15, which comprised Freestyle events; the latter included Alpine ski cross, which was well received once again. The second, Ex SNOW JACK, was the main Championship and took place from 20 Feb to 5 Mar 16. The Army team for the Inter Services Championships in Meribel was selected on past performance and from results at the 2015 Ex SNOW METHOD. Both the Army Male and Female teams won their Inter-Services Championships. Maj Beszant RE was the female champion with Pte (now LCpl) Kinnear QARANC the runner up in the individual events.

Telemark. The Army championship moved to Muerren (Switzerland) as it had outgrown the small resort of Rauris (Austria) from 9 to 21 Jan 16. Whilst the skiing was a resounding success, the administration for the event provided by Muerren left a lot to be desired, resulting in the 2017 event relocating to Pralognan La Vanoise (PLV) in France. The Inter-Services competition in Meribel went well, with all three Services taking part. The Army took the team honours with 2Lt Hurst RLC, new to Telemark, coming second in the individual event.

Sponsorship. Sponsorship remains healthy with Team Army as the current generous mainstay, with only Thales providing other funding in 2016.