Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service first from outside Germany to attend German ski championship
Published on 22 March 2010
Fire and Rescue staff members participated at Annual Ski Championships Bavaria, Germany, 3rd -5th February 2010.
As guests of Feuerwehr Regensburg (Regensburg Fire Service), nine staff members from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) recently attended and participated in the above ski championships. This was the first occasion in the prestigious event's 36-year history that any fire service from outside of Germany had been permitted to enter.
The event, held at the ski resort of Oberaudorf in Upper Bavaria, Germany, was host to competitors from the professional fire services of Augsburg, Erlangen, München, Nürnburg, Regensburg, Würzburg together with the local host volunteer fire service of Oberaudorf. The championships included two gruelling events: a giant slalom course staged on a treacherous black/red run, and a 10 km langlauf cross-country race. The Bravian fire services had been preparing and practising all winter for the event, holding qualifying rounds to select their best skiers to form a maximum of two four-person teams for each event.
Two teams entered from SFRS in the giant slalom race, and despite finishing in the final two positions (13th & 14th), all SFRS competitors managed to complete the punishing course intact, with some respectable race times achieved. SFRS Ski Team Manager Kev Pardy, stated: "On our arrival I felt like the actor John Candy in the Hollywood movie - ‘Cool Running,' which portrayed the participation of the Jamaican Bob Sleigh Team in the 1988 Winter Olympics. It was a case of ski or die. But despite our clear disadvantage of not being known as a nation of great skiers, never was the saying ‘it's the taking part, not the winning that counts' more fitting."
At the presentation evening following the races, the firm favourites to win Feuerwehr München (Munich) scooped first places for both the giant slalom and langlauf events. The Bravian fire services praised the SFRS's teams upon their sportsmanship and courage in entering the event and awarded each team with a trophy for their participation. Congratulations to Shaun Baker for being the fastest SFRS skier, even managing to beat seven German competitors. And at the après-ski party, had there been an award for disco dancing, Tim Morris would have easily won Gold. Hopeful of a further invitation to the 2011 championships, Team Coach Charlie Cartwright believes the team's chances of success would vastly improve if sponsorship could be found to purchase for the team some figure hugging lycra race suits in corporate colours as worn by some of the German teams.
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