April 27th 2022

East Midlands Reservists join Exercise: Snowboard Sapper

S snowboarded jumping.

A snowboarding competition followed a week of intense training for novice and experienced riders alike.

The Corps of Royal Engineers has held their snowboard championships under Exercise: Snowboard Sapper 22, with almost 70 attendees from across the Corps going to Alpendorf, Austria, for 12 days.

101 Engineer Regiment, the British Army Reserve’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Search (EOD&S) unit, were the only Reserve unit in attendance and sent a team of eight to Ex: Snowboard Sapper, many of whom had never snowboarded before.

Six out of the eight belong to 350 Field Squadron based in Foresters House, Chilwell, and were therefore the recipients of funding from East Midlands RFCA, who can provide grants toward adventure training for Reservists in the area.

Top: LCpl Fran Reed sat in the snow. Bottom: four people snowboarded.

LCpl Reed (top) described the experience as “emotional”.

The first week was training, introducing novices to the sport and developing those who already had experience.

This was followed by four days of fierce competition across different events, including slalom, boarder cross and freestyle, to determine the best team and most talented individual snowboarders in the Corps.

During exercises like Snowboard Sapper 22, individuals develop crucial attributes such as courage, teamwork, and sportsmanship as they test themselves mentally and physically in a controlled but challenging environment.

Both Lance Corporal Todd Franklin and Lance Corporal Fran Reed are part of 350 Field Squadron, 101 Engineer Regiment and attended the exercise.

LCpl Franklin commented: “Difficult compared to skiing, but a great challenge. Seeing your mates progress in skill to harder slopes is thrilling and tightens the bonds you build with fellow soldiers.”

LCpl Reed said: “It was emotional, but I loved it.”

Exercise: Snowboard Sapper sound like something you’d enjoy? Consider joining the Reserves.