We are delighted to announce that the 14-athlete squad selected by GB Snowsport ahead of the para snow sports season features a number of Get Kids Going! athletes. Get Kids Going! has given over £250,000 to the para snow sports team over the last few years and is supporting them again this coming season.
The Para Snowboard squad remains unchanged from last season, with Get Kids Going! athlete James seeking to build on his high-grade performance last year where he won gold in the Para snowboard World Cup.
James said “First World Cup boardercross and first gold of the season – absolutely buzzing! I love coming to this place”.
James Barnes-Miller became the first snowboarder to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games at PyeongChang 2018. He also represented Great Britain in the Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer.
James had a brilliant World Championships in Lillehammer, where he claimed three medals in the snowboard cross, banked slalom and team events. James Barnes-Miller received a bronze medal in the Men’s slalom plus a silver medal in snowboard cross.
Born without a right hand, James has worked for the UK Ministry of Defence as a casualty role-play actor, helping train soldiers in field surgery and trauma first aid. He competes in the Upper Limb Impaired category.
Get Kids Going! supporting athletes Menna Fitzpatrick & Neil Simpson are joined by a returning three-person Para Snowboard team, with Scott Meenagh named as the sole representative of the Para Nordic squad.
Fitzpatrick and Simpson are named alongside Shona Brownlee, Alex Slegg, Get Kid Going! supported athlete Michael Kear, and VI Guides Katie Guest, Andrew Simpson, Rob Poth, Adam Hall, and Louise Harrison in a Para Alpine squad rich in experience and success over recent seasons.
Menna was a proud flag bearer for Great Britain at the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships and said of the whole event:
“I just like to say a massive thank you to the team we had around us who created a fun and calming environment which is exactly what I needed.
“I also want to say a big thank you to you Katie for all you do to make sure we ski as fast and as safely as we can. Also for filling me with confidence as we’ve worked out confident skiing is fast Skiing.
“Lastly thank you to everyone supporting from afar and thanks for the messages they are a great comfort whilst away from home.”
Get Kids Going! supported athlete Neil Simpson received his first gold in the world championships in 2023. It follows up his super combined silver at the world’s event in Lillehammer last year, and his amazing super G gold and super combined bronze at 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics.
Get Kids Going! supported Athlete Michael Kear was thrilled to receive two gold medals (Slalom and Giant Slalom) in the Huntsman Cup World Para Alpine Ski Race at Park City, Utah in 2022. The Huntsman Cup focuses on providing the opportunity to adaptive athletes who are hopefuls for future Paralympic games. This achievement qualified Michael and his guide Louise to start World Cup races.
The visually impaired skier said of the period covering Covid “The last four years have been so incredibly tough, so standing on the top of the podium with a new best points score just feels incredible.”
Before hitting the slopes Michael had said “We’ve had a great couple of weeks training leading up to these races with Rocky Mountain Adaptive and our slalom has gone from almost giving up to hitting the gas pedal and even cross blocking. We’re really excited to translate this into the race environment and show everyone what we can do.”
GB Snowsport Para Programme Manager James Redpath said:
“This is a really important season for all of our athletes, many of whom will have ambitions to compete at the next Paralympic Winter Games in Milan-Cortina in 2026, and I’d like to congratulate all of them alongside their coaching and support teams for their selections today.”
The countdown to the season is on with the first Para Snowboard World Cup scheduled for Landgraaf in late November, while the Para Alpine World Cup season is due to begin in Steinach am Brenner in mid-December.
We wish all of our Get Kids Going! athletes who have been selected as part of the squad all the best for the coming season.