At Carbon60 we’ve always been proud of our close military connections. As one of our core market sectors, we’ve continuously recognised the importance of being immersed in defence and have now partnered with the MOD on multiple projects.
We’ve also committed time and resource to our pioneering Connect Programme, specifically designed to support actively serving military personnel (full-time and reserve) and the ex-services community. It’s a free-of-charge mentoring programme we launched to help members of the forces, and their families, to navigate into work through one-on-one sessions on vital skills in preparation for carrying out job-searching tasks, like writing a CV or attending an interview.
But more than simply being a core sector of ours, Carbon60 benefits from such strong relationships with the forces, because we share so many of the same values. This is particularly true when comparing our own DNA with the RAF’s - and that’s just one of the reasons why we’ve been honoured to act as a sponsor for the RAF’s Ski Team for several years now.
On the slopes
The Royal Air Force Ski Team offers personnel the environment to train and compete in alpine disciplines at an elite level. Participation in this challenging sport develops many of the qualities in its athletes that are also required to succeed in the modern military. Such attributes include courage, determination, teamwork, and leadership - skills that we also seek and encourage in service environment.
Team members commit to extensive training and lots of events and competitions alongside their already demanding RAF roles. One particular highlight on the Ski Team calendar is the coveted RAF Championships, informally known as the ‘Ski Champs’. They take place annually (Covid restrictions permitting) in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, and provide more than 800 RAF service men and women with the chance to compete in skiing and snowboarding.
Central to the success of the team is the Ski Team Manager who’s responsible for the planning of five major overseas training camps and competitions each year, as well as managing a rigorous development and coaching programme and arranging other essential functions including sponsorship, safety, equipment, and logistics.
This crucial role used to be held by Bruno Wood, Carbon60’s former Associate Director and Head of Government Services. Bruno now works with our sister company, Guidant, but continues to be the Ski Team Manager. But Carbon60 is delighted to continue to support the RAF Ski team because of our close links with the military and due to sport being such a key component in making our RAF a leading fighting force.
If there were any doubt in the importance of skiing to the RAF, or of sport in general to the military, Flight Lieutenant Claire Nixon and ladies’ ski team captain, explains: “I’m often asked “why does the RAF ski race?”. For me it’s simple. It inculcates the mindset and ethos required of a military aviator - an unwavering team spirit, mental courage, physical resilience, and technical excellence. I’ve been a sportswoman since the age of four (gymnast, athlete, and rugby player), but have found ski racing unique in its ability to challenge and develop body and mind….
“A relative latecomer to skiing at age 20, I started my racing journey at the 2009 RAF Ski Championships…I soon became hooked and whilst not necessarily a natural racing ‘star’, my stubborn determination and limitless enthusiasm - combined with fabulous coaching - enabled me to make the RAF representative team in 2011.
“After two seasons competing at this level, I was thrown in the deep end as captain…I have experienced the highs of being part of a winning team, the pure joy of watching grassroots racers achieve their goals on a word cup piste, and the delight of being part of the ‘2018 RAF Team of the Year’. I’ve also experienced the fear of standing at the top of a downhill race, the devastation of teammates’ injures and the complexity of emotions associated with ski racing as a team event…
“All of this has made me a more effective leader and aviator…I simply would not be where I am today without the opportunities afforded by this wonderful team.”
Being the best…on and off-piste
With our own values including “Collaborative” which we define as ‘working in partnership with others to achieve a shared goal,’ and ‘Willingness to Learn’ described as ‘future focused, inquisitive, open minded and striving to be more than OK,’ there are numerous similarities between our principles and those of our military partners. And perhaps none more so than the RAF whose Ski Team’s supportive yet competitive environment was created explicitly to encourage teamwork, dedication, and excellence.
The RAF’s lists its values as Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence - ideologies that most definitely align with Carbon60’s ethos. Moreover, the RAF describes its people as agile, adaptable, and capable (for creating an adaptable and capable organisation), and our own agility and flexibility are traits we demonstrate to our customers daily, not only to steer us through uncertain times such as the past couple of years, but to provide tailored, adaptable solutions that work for our clients’ differing needs.
Carbon60 is proud to mirror the work ethic and morals of our military partners, and whilst not a military organisation we understand the importance of and owe many of our successes so far to great leadership, teamwork, and a supportive environment. We’re certain that through living and breathing these shared values we will continue to strengthen the relationships we hold with the British Armed Forces throughout 2022 and beyond.
Nick Parker, Carbon60 Operations Director concludes, “Carbon60 has been proud to sponsor the RAF Ski Team as part of our wider support for military sport for the past five years. We would like to wish all the participants the best of luck for your endeavours throughout 2022, and hope all of our military connections have a great year ahead.”