The Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST) is a charitable organisation which helps to rehabilitate those serving and retired service personnel who have been injured during their military service, through the medium of Adaptive (Alpine) Skiing.
Please look around this site to read about the team and its athletes, hear about their achievements and aspirations, and, if you wish, make a contribution to the team. We would be delighted to provide any further information that you may need - please get in touch via the email addresses provided on our Contact page. All of the athletes are exceptional young men and women and, having given so much in the service of their country, anything that you can do to help them achieve their aspirations will be exceptionally well received.
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CSDST ON SNOW ACTIVITY - MARCH 2015
1 – 10 March: International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Canada
Mick Brennan & Jennifer Kehoe (guide to Millie Knight) represented the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST) at the World Championships in Canada. In the speed races leading up to the competition Mick had a big crash that set him back and ultimately prevented him from taking his place in the start hut for the competition speed events. He did start in the technical events but unfortunately did not finish in either the GS or Slalom. Jen Kehoe and Millie Knight had a great Championships. They claimed the silver medal in the Giant Slalom and bronze in the Slalom.
2 – 19 March: Level 4 Training Camp, Stubai.
Whilst the World Championships were on in Canada, our Performance Team were hard at work in Austria training for the end of season National Championships. They started off on the Schlick 2000 in Fulpmes, getting some great steep terrain GS and Slalom training in but a lack of snow on the training slope in Fulpmes forced them back up onto the Stubai Glacier. The guys had a strict regime each day including early morning stretching and foam rolling programmes, warm ups on the slope (whilst the coaches set the day’s training courses) and warm downs on the static bike before rolling and stretching off once more. The work didn’t stop there, skis had to be routinely waxed and edged and after dinner they had the review of the day followed by the goal setting for the next day. It was a tough camp with the guys doing a 5-one-4-one-5 day on/off programme. They managed to book the off days when the weather was at its worst and benefited from immaculate conditions for most of the camp. It was a real treat to have Shona Brownlee along with the Performance Team for 2 weeks and she is showing amazing potential.
7 – 28 March: Army Snowboard Championships and Sports Awards
Owen Pick was due to go to two World Cup competitions, straight from the previous month’s World Championships in Spain but they were cancelled at the last minute. This left Owen with a gap in his programme but he was able to fill it constructively by joining the Army Snowboard programme in Stubai, Austria where he enjoyed high quality training with his able-bodied counterparts. A decision was made to keep Owen at the Army Championships rather than going over to the British Championships in Tignes, France due to the training and competition opportunities in Austria far outweighing the benefits of entering the National event. At the National Championships he could only compete in one event where as at the Army Championships he competed, for experience only, in a full 21 day programme. Owen unfortunately crashed out in the Parallel Giant Slalom but finished a very respectable 8th in the Boarder X. The final event was the freestyle, this is not a Paralympic event but it does give great cross training; sadly Owen was forced to retire after qualifying 5th because of an injured stump. It was great to see Owen wearing the CSDST jacket at the Army Championships!
Following his achievement of Army Official of the Year at their Annual Sports Awards a few months ago, CSDST Head Coach WO2 Mark Scorgie beat off stiff Royal Air Force and Royal Navy competition to be awarded the Combined Services Sports Official of the Year award for his part in developing the CSDST programme and contribution to the Paralympics GB team in Sochi.
Jennifer Kehoe and Mark Scorgie attended the DSUK Para-Snowball and enjoyed a night in the company of TV presenters John Inverdale and John Gould but perhaps more importantly they got to hobnob with Pippa Middleton!
20 – 22 March: Austrian National Championships.
John Kirk continued his speed racing at the Austrian Nationals Super Combined, giving him a chance to put into practice the training he did in February with John Clark. The event was held in the same place that the RAF hold their annual Championships; Saalbach-Hinterglem. He finished 11th in the Slalom, 12th in the GS, 15th in the Super Combined and a respectable 14th in the Super G. These results were his best ever, seeing a 12.25% improvement in GS and 14.5% in Super Combined from last season. In the GS Jamie Weller and his guide Adam Coulson tested their GS skis in anger for the first time this season. The pair crossed the line and put their first GS result under their belts. More importantly they started to devise plans on how to go faster and create better results in the future. Ollie Thorn got himself all wrapped up coming off the excessively steep start ramp and struggled to get his bodyweight back. This fired him off the course backwards and marked the end of the race for him. In the Slalom, Ollie had a similar situation and learnt that slalom backwards does not spell ‘molals’ it spells ‘OUCH’ and a bent ski. Jamie and Adam managed to podium in 2nd place with around 460 points (well under the 500 expected in their 1st season). The pair later found out that they had come 2nd in the GS too but had not been awarded a trophy as they only awarded the Austrian racers for their efforts.
28 – 29 March: Italian National Championships.
The last races of the season took place in the Trentino resort of Folgaria, Italy. Slalom was the first event and also saw the return of CSDST athlete Grant Harvey to the slopes. Grant, John and Jamie put in outstanding performances. They all scored personal bests and gave us three top 10 results, with Grant Harvey in 8th and John Kirk in 9th and a bronze placed podium with Jamie Weller and Adam Coulson. Unfortunately Ollie took a nasty tumble on the way to the start and had to get bucketed off the hill. This took some time as the Gendarmerie (Military Police) who were manning the piste security seemed a little less keen to operate in comparison to our own Royal Military Police (much to Grant Harvey’s annoyance!). The GS on the final day saw Jamie and Adam win another silver medal, in only his second ever GS and confirm his GS points well below 500 for the season. It also saw John Kirk and Grant Harvey score their season’s best results with 6th and 7th, respectively. If that wasn’t enough, they both scored the best GS IPCAS points of their careers so far. This has put the dynamic duo well on course to qualify for the National Team, according to current criteria, during next season. Ollie was unable to continue due to a bashed up shoulder but he will be fine and raring to go again soon. The guys definitely left the best to last and have wrapped up a very successful season in style.
Pitztal IPCAS Race 2014
A challenging few days of racing for everyone due to niggling injuries and the culmination of a very intense few months of training. The team worked hard and produced some solid results. Check out Mark Scorgie's full Coach's Report in 'News'
Swiss National Championships - Veysonnez
John Kirk became our sole competitor in the IPCAS slalom in Veysonnaz after Grant Harvey and Ollie Thorn were forced to pull out of the slalom due to a niggling injuries. John had a good start and worked on some good tactical strategies down the steepest part of the course. Unfortunately JK became another statistic in the very large DNF pool. He came out of the verticale in the mid section of the first run with a move that would secure him a primetime slot on Instagram's @SlalomTokyoDrift.
Overall, the visit to Switzerland was successful. John Kirk has reduced his GS points by 17%, Ollie confirmed his pre-race routines and gained further confidence in his own ability and Grant transferred his new found training style to his second run of yesterday's GS, knocking 2 seconds off his time. Everyone is looking forward to competing in Pitztal in Austria. Currently we are driving over to Tirol ready for Tomorrow's Super G followed by 2 more Giant Slalom races!
Army Sports Awards
A hugely successful Army Sports Awards took place at the Guildhall in London on 27 November. While many of the team were honoured to attend the evening, it was CSDST's Head Coach and GB skier who were the stars of the night. Head Coach WO2 Mark Scorgie won the Army Sports Official of the Year, and Mick Brennan was Runner Up in the Army Adaptive Athlete of the Year. Thank you to all of our supporters who have helped the Team achieve the recognition and success that it has, and EXTREMELY well done to Scorge and Mick!
Team Army are outstanding supporters of CSDST - we couldn't achieve what we do without them. The Army Sports Awards were simply brilliant. Well done to all involved in the organisation of such an amazing event, and a heartfelt thank you from all of us.
Foundation Team Skills Camp
The Foundation Team travelled to Stubai in Austria for their first on-snow training of the season. After seeing poor snow conditions in October, we were blessed with a huge snowfall at the start of the camp, giving everyone the opportunity to build on the skills learned during the summer indoor sessions. The team marked Remembrance Sunday with a visit to the local memorial for fallen servicemen and women.
Our excellent Season Launch took place at the In and Out Club on 8 Oct. It was great to see so many friends and supporters from the MOD, private sector and other charities, without whom the Team could not function. Thank you all for a truly memorable evening. You can see more photos on our Facebook page.
CSDST Chairman Brigadier Fred Hargreaves with Trinity Insurance Director Vic Baker and GB Skier Chemmy Alcott.
The Invictus Games
The Ride of Thrones
There are many atheletes competing at the Invictus Games who have spent time with the CSDST. Congratulations to them all but especially to Jaco van Gass with two Gold medals on the cycle track; Grant Harvey, part of the Gold Medal winning British Rugby Team; Andy Grant - two gold medals on the running track - more results to come....
Read about other members of the Team here
They did it! Having left Edinburgh Castle on the 3rd September, all riders arrived safely at the Tower of London on the afternoon of 9th September. With huge thanks to our sponsors and supporters - so far over £40,000 raised. More updates and photos on our News page.
(C) Crown Copyright 2014
The Team’s Chairman, Brigadier Fred Hargreaves OBE, said,
"Adaptive skiing changes people’s lives, giving wounded, injured and sick Servicemen, Servicewomen and veterans the opportunity to regain their sense of adventure, confidence and competitiveness. The Ride of Thrones has been an exceptionally rewarding experience for our athletes and also for the tremendous team of supporters from Selex ES, Allocate Software, DO Systems, BT and elsewhere. The camaraderie and dedication shown throughout the 450-mile journey across our beautiful country was simply brilliant. It's thanks to an incredible level of support through donations that we have been able to raise such a huge total."
Please see our News page for updates on the Ride of Thrones. This wonderful fundraising event finishes at the Tower of London on 9th September, and the following day sees the start of the Invictus Games, to be held at sporting venues around East London, including The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. Although there is no skiing at the games, many injured servicemen who have become part of the CSDST family will be taking part. Craig Gadd helped unveil the medals for the games as you can see here.
See our Donors page for news of the fantastic Wirral Triathalon team from SAAB who competed in order to raise money for CSDST.
Major Team News - Mick Brennan returns from Sochi having placed 8th in the Super Combined and 10th in the Super G. See News for further details
CSDST are proud to announce that Mick Brennan has been selected to join the GB Paralympic Team to compete in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia in March and that CSDST Head Coach Mark Scorgie has been selected to be Assistant Coach and Ski Technician for the GB Paralympic Team.
Mick is the only person with a military background to be selected for the team. From now until the games Mick will race in a World Cup SuperG in Tignes, visit the Inter-Services competition in Meribel in France, race in the European Cup Finals in Abenau in Austria and try to take a few days off before travelling to Sochi.
All the members of CSDST would like to congratulate both Mick and Mark for such brilliant achievements.
Sgt (Retd) Mick Brennan won a Bronze Medal at the International Paralympic Committee’s Alpine World Cup Giant Slalom in Thredbo, Australia (Feb 13)
Mick Brennan won a Silver Medal at the Europa Cup Super Giant Slalom in Tignes, France
Kingsley Ward took 5th place in the IPCAS Slalom at Rinn in Austria
Please visit our News page for further details