Elite Squad

The Elite Squad athletes are predominantly full-time and will spend upwards of 30 weeks of the year on snow training and competing.

This year's programme will see them visiting New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Austria, Canada, the USA, France, Switzerland and Italy with the ultimate goal a place on the Great Britain Team for the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

The team is coached by Tony McAllister.
Tony McAllister
Position: Head Coach (Alpine)
Age: 33

Mick Brennan
Classification: LW12-2 (Sitting)
Age: 34
Sponsors: Supacat, CSDST
Website: eximusventurecapital.com
Twitter: @MonoSkiMick
Facebook: www.facebook.com/monoskimick

In November 2006, whilst serving with his regiment in Iraq, Mick lost both his legs and suffered brain damage in a suicide bomb attack. In March 2008, as part of his rehabilitation programme at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Mick started to learn adaptive skiing. A combination of natural ability and determination soon meant that he was selected to join the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST) and from there he was selected to the BDST.

Mick's all out style has led to many a spectacular crash but also to increasing success. Highlights are his 9th place in the Super Combined at the 2013 World Championships and a Bronze in the World Cup Giant Slalom at Thredbo, Australia in 2013.

Mick has been selected to the long list for the Great Britain team for Sochi 2014 and passionately hopes to be able to represent his country in Russia.
Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell (Guide)
Coronet Peak 2013

Classification: B2 (Visually Impaired)

Age: 22 (Jade), 19 (Caroline)

Sponsors: TASS, LEAP, Salomon, Reusch

Twitter: @raceyjadeski

Jade was born with Glaucoma and Axenfeld Syndrome but this didn't stop her starting skiing whilst on a family holiday aged 8. She skied recreationally for 10 years before joining the BDST Development Squad in 2009. Jade started racing internationally in 2011 and has been on the podium in 28 out of the 32 World Cup, Europa cup and IPCAS races she has competed in.

She has progressed very quickly and has been selected to the long list for the British Team at the Sochi Paralympics in 2014.

Jade skis with a guide, Caroline Powell, who skis closely in front of her. They use in-helmet radio systems to communicate pre-determined commands to help guide Jade safely down the course at speeds of up to 65mph.

The pair won their first World Championship medal in 2013 and are hoping to repeat that performance and medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Tim Farr
Classification: LW 12-1 (Sitting)
Age: 31
Sponsors: Fredericks Foundation, Get Kids Going
Website: www.timfarr.co.uk
Twitter: @timfarrski
Facebook: www.facebook.com/timmyfarr

Tim broke his back in a skiing accident in 2004 which left him paralysed from the waist down. He was sit-skiing within a year of his accident. He joined the British Disabled Ski Team Development squad in 2006 and represented Great Britain at the 2010 Winter Paralympic games in Vancouver where he achieved two top twenty finishes.

SInce then, despite struggling with injuries, Tim has had numerous top 10 finishes highlighted by a 3rd in the Slalom at Rinn in 2012.

The longest serving member of the team, Tim was selected to the Long List for the Sochi Games and is hoping to get the chance to represent his country again.
Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans (Guide)

2013 World Championships SilverClassification: B3 (Visually Impaired)

Age: 28 (Kelly), 22 (Charlotte)

Website: www.kelly-gallagher.co.uk/

Twitter: @Kellygallagher
Facebook: facebook.com/KellyandCharlotte

Kelly is the first person from Northern Ireland to ever compete in the Winter Paralympics. She joined British Disabled Ski Team in the 2008/09 season and with her first guide, Claire Robb, was selected to the Great Britain team for the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. The pair were placed 6th in Slalom and 4th in Giant Slalom.

Claire retired following the 2010 games and Kelly then teamed up with her current guide, Charlotte Evans, to take her through to the Sochi games in 2014. Their partnership has been a succesful one since the start.

They won a Silver in Slalom and a Bronze in Giant Slalom at the 2011 World Championships,  the first time a British skier has achieved a medal at this level. Since then they have won medals in all disciplines at both Europa Cup and World Cup levels as well as two more Silver and two more Bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships and a Gold in the Slalom at the World Cup Finals.

They now have their sights firmly set on the 2014 Winter Paralympics where they hope to bring home Great Britain's first alpine skiing medals for 20 years.
Ben Sneesby
 Classification: LW12-1 (Sitting)
Age: 19
Website: www.bensneesby.com
Twitter: @ben_sneesby

 Ben was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, at the age of three months. After many lifesaving operations and a course of chemotherapy the tumour was removed, however he was left with a spinal cord injury, no sensation in his left leg and only partial sensation in his right leg.

Ben started skiing at the age of eleven and took to the sport very quickly. By the time he was thirteen he had been spotted by the BDST management team and was invited to become one of the first members of the BDST Youth Development Squad.

Ben has mixed training and racing with his school studies, but with his A Levels completed he has decided to defer his University entry to focus solely on ski racing.

In his first full season of racing, Ben scored four top ten finishes and qualified to race at Europa Cup level in all five disciplines. He will be skiing full time again throughout the 2013-2014 season and is aiming to represent his country at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi.
Anna Turney
Classification: LW12-1 (Sitting)
Age: 34
Sponsors: Macushield
Website: www.annaturney.com
Twitter: @SkiRaceAnna
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Turney/

Anna was a promising Snowboard racer when, in 2006, she broke her back whilst competing. Determined not to be defeated, Anna switched to sit skiing and joined the BDST in 2007, barely a year after her accident.

After three years of training she was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2010 Winter Paralympics where her best result was 6th in the Slalom.

Since then, Anna has continued to train and compete at the highest levels and narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2011 World Championships when she finished 4th in the Giant Slalom.

Anna is currently ranked in the top 10 in the World in Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined and Giant Slalom and has been selected to the long list for the Great Britain team for the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games in 2014.
James Whitley
Classification: LW5/7-3 (Standing)
Age: 15

James is from Sussex and Northern Ireland and is the youngest member of the Elite team. He has been skiing since the age of four and has represented both Courchevel, where he trains, and his school in able bodied competitions, winning six cups.

He has risen rapidly through the ranks since being recruited to the BDST and is World Cup qualified in Slalom and Giant Slalom. In February 2012, James won his first senior medals, coming 2nd  in Giant Slalom and 3rd in Slalom at the Italian National Championships. 2013 saw him finish 11th in his first World Cup Slalom and enter his first major championships, the World Championships in La Molina, where he finished 16th in the Giant Slalom. He finished his season by winning his first senior medal, a Bronze in GS at Chamrousse, France.

James is currently ranked 2nd in the World in Slalom and 5th in Giant Slalom at Under 18 level and looks to be a serious contender for years to come.