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Grant gives snowboarding team a lift

Published: 15 Dec 2016

The RAF snowboarding squad pushed their training up a notch as they hit the slopes for a two-week overseas training camp in Austria.

The camp, partially funded by the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT), provided coaching and extensive training for the team ahead of the RAF and Inter Service Championships later this season.

Supporting the development and welfare of personnel, the Trust provided a £4,400 grant, which was used to purchase lift passes for the trip, allowing the team an extra week of training. Squadron Leader Nicola Duncan, said: "Taking the team to Kaprun, Austria, has given us the opportunity to train in a more realistic environment. We were able to focus on our riding development, along with a variety of skills, including speed and control, freestyle, slalom and boarder-cross. It also allowed us a real opportunity to look at the safety aspects of mountain riding and become comfortable with practices that aren't available in the UK.

"We would not have been able to finance this trip without the help of grants from charities such as the RAFCT and the whole team is really grateful for their contribution. Hopefully with our new skills we can now go on to win the upcoming championships!"

Flt Lt Charlie Hatch, a member of the snowboarding team, provided a short round-up of the trip:

"We arrived at our chalet mid-afternoon on Saturday and spent Sunday waking up our legs and getting used to the equipment before starting our training on Monday. We were lucky enough to have three coaches meaning that we can split into groups for more focussed training.

"Disappointingly the weather limited the first week of training. Whilst we had snow, high winds and low visibility closed the mountain early and reduced the amount of time we could spend in the park. Unperturbed, we focussed on piste performance, with the newer riders working on edge control and the rest fine-tuning their individual style.

"In preparation for the trip, each rider assessed their ability and devised individual goals, which allowed the coaches to provide bespoke training. Groups were split based upon common goals, one focusing on edge control and racing turns, another on aggression and speed, and one worked on body management and pressure control.

"During the second week, a few members of the squad left us to return to work but new riders arrived. We managed to book a piste for race training so we could finally work on our gate technique and the weather improved significantly, allowing lots of freestyle and the opening of the second park.

"Mornings were filled with individual rider improvements such as switch riding and landing techniques, setting us up for park riding all afternoon. Every day finished with a recovery session led by our team physio. A mixture of dynamic stretches, assisted stretches and yoga helped everyone prevent injuries."

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