Nordic Skiing in the British Army encompasses the separate international winter sports disciplines of cross country skiing (XC skiing) and biathlon (XC skiing and rifle shooting) as well as the Military Patrol Race.


What is Nordic Skiing?

Nordic Skiing in the British Army encompasses the separate international winter sports disciplines of cross country skiing (XC skiing) and biathlon (XC skiing and rifle shooting) as well as the Military Patrol Race.

Classified by 2010DIN01-209 (Status of Sports in the Services) as Individual Military Training, the competitive phases are conducted in accordance with National governing body regulations; entirely separate from ski-touring; it is not Adventurous Training (AT).Acting under the authority of the Army Winter Sports Association (AWSA) and Director Training (Army), the British Army Nordic Skiing Committee (BANSC) provides the Land Forces oversight of Army Nordic skiing and policy. Each official and Nordic team attending the Regional and Army Championships is to hold an electronic or hard copy of the Full Nordic Rulebook. Army Nordic Skiing exercises and competitions are open to all Reg and Reserve personnel.

Roller Skiing

Roller skiing is a very effective snow simulation tool (and even a sport by itself) but you want to keep a few things in mind. First, if you simply can’t get comfortable on pavement or around traffic you might be better off doing foot ski simulation instead. A terrified roller skier isn’t going to be able to get their heart rate up (maybe via fright but not via training and is far more likely to take a dangerous fall. Conversely, if you are rolling in particularly tough terrain or high altitude you need to make sure your heart rate does not climb too high. It is very easy to get swept up by the speed of roller skiing and forget to monitor your training zones. If you are operating at too high a heart rate with too little experience on roller skis you are more likely to make mistakes, which result in a fall or simply over train yourself.

Finally, the biggest benefit roller skiing provides over bounding or running is in the development of technique and endurance strength. To yield the maximum benefit, roller ski workouts must contain a great deal of focused time isolating specific technical areas and muscle groups. Many skiers (of all ages) go out all summer and fall on roller skis and can’t figure out why they don’t make a huge jump in improvement the next winter. The answer usually lies in too much time rolling with “lazy ” technique; always skiing in terrain that is too steep or too flat; and/or generally just “going out” instead of going out with a specific goal in mind.

Download Roller Skiing guide here.

Army Colours

We currently only list athletes awarded Army Biathlon or Cross Country Colours from 1998 – 2017, but have also added the International honours for these listed athletes who first represented GBR before 1998. We believe that this list is 100% accurate from 1998 onwards with regard to the Inter Service representation. The International records for Biathlon are also believed to be 100% accurate ref Olympic Winter Games / World Cup / World Champs. For International, the year e.g. 2011 implies season 2010 – 2011. To view the latest list of Army Colours click here.

International Cross Country records are almost non existent in the UK and we need to research them further. Biathlon European Cup & Junior records are currently not held on IBU database prior to 2001, and we do not expect to verify them, or to add all the pre 1998 Colours to this list in the near future! Please email any amendments or additions to Mark Goodson at

Governing Bodies

British Biathlon Union (BBU)

The BBU is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the Olympic winter sport of Biathlon in Great Britain. The BBU selects the GBR teams at all levels – the great majority of whom are historically Service personnel. The BBU website carries results and information throughout the year.

International Biathlon Union (IBU)

The IBU is the International Governing Body (IGB) for Biathlon. Related sport forms are roller skiing and shooting (= Summer Biathlon), cross-country running and shooting (= Cross Biathlon), mountain biking and shooting (= Mountain Bike Biathlon). The IBU website has links and detailed information on all aspects of Biathlon, including the full Competition Rules.

British Ski and Snowboarding (BSS)

BSS (formerly Snowsport GB) is the NGB responsible for the management of FIS disciplines, including XC, in Great Britain. You can visit the GB Snowsport website.

International Ski Federation (FIS)

FIS is the IGB for many skiing disciplines including XC. The FIS website has links and detailed information on all aspects of XC, including the full Competition Rules.

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