1 RIFLES Nordic Ski Team’s second season began as part of the Infantry training camp in Bessans in the French Alps, in mid November 2015.
The goal was to build on the previous year’s success but go one step further by qualifying and competing at the Army Championships.
The team started with a steady Infantry Championships finishing third overall with an impressive second in the 4 X 7.5km Biathlon Team Relay.
LCpl Hillier received a Chief of Race award for showing outstanding selfless commitment during one of the races when he came to the aid of a fellow competitor who had broken a ski, and Lt Fellows and LCpl Wood took away numerous top novice finishes.
The Divisional races brought a change in location and step up in competition but with a strong level of fitness and ever improving technique the novice team finished tenth, which meant achieving their goal of securing the Battalion’s first qualification to the Army Championships.
The opportunity of competing against ex Olympians, current GB development athletes and units with long standing experience at such a high level was one the 1 RIFLES team relished. After a tough set of races on a demanding World Cup circuit in Ruhpolding the team finished 16th overall with an impressive tenth in the Military Patrol race.
Top novice awards were again awarded to Lt Fellows and LCpl Wood with the team gaining valuable experience to take into future seasons. Overall with only one of the team of six having previous Nordic skiing experience, the tight knit team showed that a good level of fitness, strong work ethic and competitive spirit can lead to success.
The battalion has now built a reputation as one of the best Infantry units for Nordic Skiing which, being a sport that tests an individual’s ability to cover ground and shoot accurately under fatigue, is impressive particularly when the Battalion had only recently returned to competing after a long hiatus during operational commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.