Snowboarding was introduced into the Winter Paralympic programme in 2014, with GB’s first riders – James Barnes-Miller and Owen Pick – competing in 2018. But while a handful of men are targeting further success in Europa and World Cup races this season, there are currently no female equivalents, and GB Snowsport say the search is on to identify female athletes who could join the GB Para Snowboard programme with an eye forward to the 2022 and 2026 Winter Paralympics.
After merging with British Parasnowsport in mid-2018, GB Snowsport has embarked on an ambitious mission to become one of the world’s top five Winter Paralympic nations by 2030.
An expanded Para Nordic programme taking in talent identification and sports transfer has already commenced, and now the Para Snowboard programme is looking to find females of all ages who could be fast-tracked into top-level coaching and competition.
GB Snowsport will be offering 2-4 athletes the chance to attend a multi-nation camp hosted by the Dutch Winter Sports Federation at the huge Landgraaf indoor snow centre in the Netherlands from 29 September to 6 October.
Accommodation and camp costs will be funded the Agitos Foundation, the leading global organisation for developing Para sport. GB Snowsport will provide coaching support at the camp.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for female athletes to pursue an opportunity which could one day take them to the Winter Paralympic Games,” said Jayne Kavanagh, GB Snowsport head of culture and Paralympic operations. “We’d love to see people with some experience skiing or snowboarding applying, however we’d also just love to hear from any eligible athletes who would like to be involved.
“There are Para Snowboard classes for both upper and lower limb impairments, and participants would be classified into their respective category of competition.”