Troops aim for glory in army skiing contest

An eight-man team from the Royal Scots Borderers have been in the French Alps training for an army skiing competition next year.

The soldiers – whose battalion is part of The Royal Regiment of Scotland – were conducting Nordic skiing and biathlon training in preparation for the Army Divisional Championships.

Nordic skiing is physically demanding and sees competitors race on flat cross-country routes on narrow skis, with biathlon events combining this skill with rifle shooting. The Royal Scots Borderers were training three times a day – two skiing sessions and a rifle practice on the shooting range.

Their four-week camp was conducted alongside other infantry units and the team will return to France for more intense training prior to the championships after some Christmas leave.

Private Jack McCaldin, 19, from Haddington, who is part of the squad, said: “It is amazing to get this opportunity. It’s great to wake up in the morning and see the snow and blue skies and head out to do some training. I was pretty unsteady on the skis at first, but I am really getting the hang of it now – as are all the boys. My shooting has improved too from the training on the biathlon rifle.”