“Exercise Cyber Tour” was a joint services adventurous training programme aimed to develop teamworking, interpersonal skills and resilience of a small group of young military personnel. The Skiers Trust recognised that the medium of snowsports has a major contribution to make.
Based at Montgenèvre, France over a structured week a mixed group of triservice regular and reservist personnel undertook a development programme based on winter adventurous training. All were from Strategic Command’s Defence Digital Headquarters at MoD Corsham. Whilst ranks varied, the largest proportion were young people fitting the remit of the Skiers Trust.
The primary aim was to bring together and enhance the collective communication and team effectiveness skills in the tri-service group. Additionally, the winter environment was used to develop self-discipline and determination in individuals. The opportunity of a night out in a snow hole in particular added to the mental and physical resilience of all.
With varying degrees of snowsports experience from, the group split into two Ski Foundation Levels, each having its own core programme. The Ski Foundation Level 1 course for novice skiers met the requirements for a majority of those participating whilst the Ski Foundation Level 3 matched a smaller group. The groups came together for core elements of the Exercise. Both elements were taken by qualified military instructors.
The Ski Foundation 3 course stretched those on it with a challenging week focused on touring, off piste techniques, safety and mental resilience required in taking them outside of their comfort zone into the off-piste environment. One individual on this course went onto the Ski Leader 1 course shortly afterwards further extending his leadership skills.
The Exercise enabled the strengthening of team cohesion, fitness and resilience at an excellent time for those who attended. Without the grant from the Skiers Trust many of the junior personnel would not have been able to take part in the Exercise.
For the Skiers Trust, this is proof that using snowsports to support training and development of young people in the Armed Forces in line with our specific Charitable Objectives is hugely worthwhile. Our ambition is to continue to support more such initiatives through our Armed Forces Fund.