The Army Winter Sports Association (AWSA) was formed (as the Army Ski Association) in 1947, at the behest of Field Marshal Montgomery. “Monty” wished to provide a break from routine training and operations in the immediate post-war years, whilst developing military and technical skills on snow and ice. These reasons are still as valid today as then. The cost-effective benefit to the taxpayer is that soldiers are tested on leadership and management skills. Physical fitness is a must, team spirit is formed whilst real courage, endurance, and ‘guts’ are needed in all winter sports. In Army winter sports determination is required to carry out daily and rigorous training and to complete often dangerous or exhausting events. Decision-making under extreme pressure is practiced all the time and often has to be carried out in milliseconds. These are all requirements for the modern-day soldier. Part of routine Army Winter Warfare Training includes teaching some soldiers to ski. From this basic level the more talented progress to various Army Ski Championships or branch out into the other winter sports disciplines. Most funding comes from the soldiers themselves, private regimental funds and sponsorship. The AWSA creates the opportunity for many hundreds of soldiers from novice to expert to take part in a broad spread of exciting and competitive winter challenges. Sponsorship is crucial and the key that enables it all to become affordable and help us ensure the various competitions and events can be run at the highest standards of professionalism and safety. The AWSA supports 8 winter sports disciplines: Alpine
, and Telemark.
The AWSA is hugely grateful to the private sector and their continued support. Without the interest and generosity of our sponsors, the thriving winter sports programme as we know it would simply not be able to continue.It is worthy to note that the Inter Service (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force) Alpine Ski Championships are the oldest continuously running ski races in the world, having been established before the 1st World War.The Army has a proud record of representing Great Britain in International events. AWSA is a Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No 7890840, Registered Charity 1146256.