Swifty's Winter Paralympic Journey

£13,775 of £15,000 goal

Raised by 307 people in 26 months
Most people know me as 'Swifty' ....not because I'm fast on my feet, my full name is Darren Swift. 
I am the first and at the moment the only competing double above knee amputee snowboarder in the world.
I am trying to raise funding for my training and preparations for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea.
Any funding I can raise through GoFundMe will go towards my costs in this endeavour helping me to afford my travel, accommodation, coaching and equipment.
Training has already begun and my competions start this season in mid November with the European Championships followed the next day by the Worlds. The rest of the season is given over to training and competions worldwide and this is repeated again in the '17-'18 season, after summer training camps, culminating in the Paralympics in March 2018.
I became an amputee in 1991 whilst serving in HM Forces and since then have challenged myself in many different sports and activities often not taking no for an answer when I have been told I wouldn't be able to do something. Well snowboarding as part of the GB Paralympic Team was one of those things and you will be able to keep up with my progression and ultimately my participation in the 2018 Winter Games through Facebook and Twitter and other media platforms. I have every intention and am determined  to get there, despite the nay sayers, and with your help and support I will.
Many Thanks for your contribution.
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For Everyone that has supported and encouraged me over the last two and a half years. (a long one but I’m sure you will understand why)
This update is the hardest of all as I must regrettably let you all know that I did not make the time that is required in the qualifying criteria set by UK Sport and British Parasnowsport in their selection policy.
The World Cup at Landgraaf was my last opportunity to meet that time and unfortunately, I was required to be within 10% of the third place and only achieved 18%. As most of you know I am the only Double Above Knee amputee in the world competing in Para-Snowboard and as such the only category open to me is Lower Limb 1 which is a pretty tough call. I did, on the first day of the World Cup races manage to place higher than 7 other competitors which was enormously encouraging for me however unfortunately on the second day of World Cup and for reasons I am still analyzing, I just simply didn’t perform as well and therefore did not make the time required.
I would like to thank all of my teammates James Barnes Miller, Owen Pick, Ben Moore, Cassie Cava and my coach Simon Nicholson along with all of the other international competitors and coaches including the IPC Representatives and not forgetting just about everyone in the wider snowboard community for your tremendously unstinting support, not just at Landgraaf but throughout my journey over the last two and a half years. You have all been so encouraging both on and off the courses and the knowledge that you above all understand what it takes to snowboard with a disability makes that support a wee bit special. To have been amongst you all has been an honor and I will miss you all.
I am hugely disappointed to finish this Paralympic journey in this way but there is just no allowance in the qualifying criteria that will enable me to get to Pyeongchang in March 2018. So, until this change is made I’m afraid the Paralympic Snowboard events will not have a double above knee amputee competitor.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you here on FB and GoFundMe for your unswerving support without which I could not have got this far. I hope that at some point in the future perhaps when the criteria and the categories are ‘adjusted’ and make allowances for double above knee amps along with other levels of disability that you can support whoever it is that goes on this journey in the tremendous way that you have supported me.
Finally, I now have in my sights on the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games and through the development of a binding system that incorporates suspension, ultimately giving me the ability to absorb or cushion obstacles and rougher terrain thus effectively going some way to leveling the playing field, I hope to be in a better position to achieve my ambition of competing for my country at the highest level. Just as importantly the development of the Snowboard Binding Project will mean we can inspire and facilitate other Lower Limb Amputees, specifically but not exclusively Double Above Knee Amps, to get out on the hill on a snowboard and who knows hopefully compete as well.
All the very best for now Everyone and thank you once again.
Swifty
Many thanks also to Blesma, The Limbless Veterans Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team - AFPST @davinchiwheelchairs @forcefield @bluetomato @thedriveproject
Dupraz snowboards Shermaynes Engineering @bespokeprosthetics&orthotics, @leonardo @pt21solutions @crosssnowsports @royalgreenjackets @tignesspirit @snowsportsengland
@zgriff @realteam @Ifly @Chillfactore @XSCAPECastleford @Royalgreenjackets @scottishinstituteofsportscience
#gofundme #paralympics #snowsport #legless #snowboardbindings #burton #sweethelmets #amputee #legless #prosthesis #freestyle #boardercross #halfpipe #royalgreenjackets #jockbell #DragonLodge #Tignes #BritishParasnowsport #RoadToPyeongchang
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Hi Everyone…very quick update…Promise!
We’ve been back from Saas Fe, Switzerland for a while and we’ve been pretty busy with media related events in London including a visit to the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show at Battersea Park. The Saas Fe training camp was a huge success and we all made great progress on our preparations for the next competition in Landgraaf, Holland which, because of cancellations in the competition calendar, will be my last opportunity to get the time I need for selection into Team GB. Landgraaf is notorious for having a fast and furious course that pushes the riders, so fingers crossed I can smash it and get those valuable seconds shaved off my time. I’m feeling fit and confident after Saas Fe.
James Barnes Miller has been dealing with the aftermath of some thieving toe rags taking most of his gear including his boards. James has had a great response on his GoFundMe page and BBC TV & Radio along with other channels have been great in getting the word out there helping massively with offers of help from sponsors and the public in general. A colossal thank you to all.
Told you it would be quick eh!
Oh nearly forgot...Dave came out for a ride too...

As always, many thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement.

Many thanks also to Blesma Chadwell Heath, The Limbless Veterans Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team - AFPST @davinchiwheelchairs Forcefield Body Armour @bluetomato @thedriveproject
Dupraz snowboards Shermaynes Engineering @bespokeprosthetics&orthotics, Leonardo SpA Pt21 Solutions Limited @crosssnowsports @royalgreenjackets @tignesspirit @snowsportsengland
@zgriff @realteam @Ifly @Chillfactore Xscape YorkshireCastleford @Royalgreenjackets @scottishinstituteofsportscience Cheapskates Wanakates Adaptive Action SportsSports Team USA Saas-Fee Hotel Bristol
#gofundme #paralympics #snowsport #legless #snowboardbindings #burton #sweethelmets #amputee #legless #prosthesis #freestyle #boardercross #halfpipe #royalgreenjackets #jockbell #DragonLodge #Tignes #BritishParasnowsport #RoadToPyeongchang
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Better late than never Everyone.
Sorry for the delay with this update, I’ve been a wee bit busy since my return from New Zealand.
This was my first visit to South Island NZ and I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable trips of my life. If you have not been there then it should definitely go on your bucket list. It is most definitely one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
My time in NZ was a mixture of fantastic experiences peppered with a few disappointments. The whole 25 days were a phenomenal experience with some great training opportunities riding with some of the best snowboarders in the world both able bodied and Para- athletes.
Unfortunately, my goal of gaining that all important time for qualification eluded me yet again and I could probably sit here and list dozens of reasons why but essentially, I was simply not fast enough to achieve that objective on the day. I was physically and mentally fit and ready to go, my board and bindings were in tip top condition and I’d trained hard for the week and half leading up to the comp everything was in place and although I felt each of my 3 timed runs were an improvement on the last I just could not get the time I needed. To say I was disappointed does not come close.
I had another week left in NZ after the comp so put my disappointment behind me and used that time to continue training and hook up with Dan Gale and his team for some cracking days on Cardrona which apart from being stacks of fun enabled me to get some top instruction from both Dan, Bryant and the rest of the team.
My last day on the snow in NZ was a real treat as there had been a night of powder falling on Treble Cone so I spent the day riding the same slopes as the comp but in a foot of Powder, a fine way to finish my time in NZ for sure. Oh! and Dave came out for a ride too....
Bad weather meant that my flight out of Queenstown was delayed which put all my connecting flights out for me so the trip home was an epic 3 days pretty much but I had the good company of Rupert Goldring a Brit Ski Coach/Instructor from Val d’ Isere, so we made the most and the best of it thanks to Qantas Airlines.
I had some tremendous support, help and advice throughout my time in NZ from all the international coaches and my fellow competitors alike with everyone including the organisers and race officials shouting words of encouragement from start gate to finish line and my endless thanks goes to all of them in particular the US National Team, Graham Watanabe, Keith Gabel, Dan Gale and Bryant Boucher of Adaptive Action Sports, Lu Prem and the Australian Team, Lars Moien (Norway), John Shelley and Ritchie Johnston (NZ), Jane Stevens (NZ) and her team of awesome organisers for doing such a fantastic job.
I have a couple of opportunities left to secure that selection time for qualification with BPS (British Parasnowsport) into the Paralympic Games, the next is Landgraaf in Holland once again in November and then Big White in BC, Canada in February next year.
So regardless of setbacks its onwards and upwards… I’m off to Saas Fe, Switzerland next for 2 weeks of team training and getting faster.
Once again, my thanks to all of you that support me on this journey…. through all of its ups and downs.
Til the next update.
Swifty
Many thanks also to Blesma Chadwell Heath, The Limbless Veterans Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team - AFPST @davinchiwheelchairs Forcefield Body Armour @bluetomato @thedriveproject
Dupraz snowboards Shermaynes Engineering @bespokeprosthetics&orthotics, Leonardo SpA Pt21 Solutions Limited @crosssnowsports @royalgreenjackets @tignesspirit @snowsportsengland
@zgriff @realteam @Ifly @Chillfactore Xscape YorkshireCastleford @Royalgreenjackets @scottishinstituteofsportscience @bellavistamotel Cheapskates Wanaka Cardrona Alpine Resort, NZ Treble Cone Ski Area Wanaka, New Zealand Adaptive Action Sports Team USA Qantasas Emiratestes Jetstar NZ
#gofundme #paralympics #snowsport #legless #snowboardbindings #burton #sweethelmets #amputee #legless #prosthesis #freestyle #boardercross #halfpipe #royalgreenjackets #jockbell #DragonLodge #Tignes #BritishParasnowsport #RoadToPyeongchang #newzealand #wanaka #bestviewsintheworld
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OK here we go again with another update……
Last week and the weekend was all about indoor training and a bit of fundraising for the team.
We started with a morning of training on the slope at Chillfactore in Manchester covering technical skills suited perfectly to the indoor snow.
We then headed next door to iFLY where we had a truly awesome time flying around in the wind tunnel. For those that know me also know I used to skydive and use the tunnel so it was great for me to get to share my other passion with the rest of the team who all had a fantastic time we’d like to say a huge thanks to John Rodgers and all the outstanding staff and instructors @IFLY. After dinner that day we headed off to the Bear Grylls Fitness at the Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park across the road. Ben and Simon threw themselves about quite a bit....and fair play to them…. dinner never came back!
The next day saw us back on the indoor slope for more technical skills training and the afternoon was spent at the Nuffield Gym in central Manchester working on our Strength & Conditioning.

On the final Saturday morning, we had an early start as we headed over to Castleford Xscape for the English Indoor Ski and Snowboard Cross Championships. The entire team held their own against some excellent Able-Bodied competition and I even got myself to the Semi Finals of the Masters, stoked!!! And a big thanks to Snowsports England for organising the event Finally, we finished the day with a fundraiser that night which consisted of an auction and raffle that amounted to over £2K benefiting BLESMA The Limbless Veterans Charity and DSUK (Disability Snowsports UK)
The rest of the team then headed up to Stirling University for more Physical Training and testing at the Scottish Sports Science Institute. Whilst, I am heading down south to Brands Hatch for an event with the Not Forgotten Association but more of that in another post....
Looking forward now.... Ben, Owen, James and Coach Simon along with the rest of the British Parasnowsport Team are off to Chile on the 8th Aug for SBX (Snowboard Cross) training. Meanwhile I am preparing to travel to New Zealand for 3 weeks of training and World Cup Banked Slalom competitions at Treble Cone on South Island. This will hopefully see me gain the all-important qualifying time selection at the Winter Paralympic Games.
I continue to be grateful for your support and encouragement.
Many thanks to you all.
Until the next update all the best for now
Swifty
Many thanks also to Blesma, The Limbless Veterans Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team - AFPST @davinchiwheelchairs @forcefield @bluetomato @thedriveproject
Dupraz snowboards Shermaynes Engineering @bespokeprosthetics&orthotics, @leonardo @pt21solutions @crosssnowsports @royalgreenjackets @tignesspirit @snowsportsengland
@zgriff @realteam @Ifly @BeargrhylsOxygenfreejumping @Chillfactore @XSCAPECastleford @scottishinstituteofsportscience
#gofundme #paralympics #snowsport #legless #snowboardbindings #burton #sweethelmets #amputee #legless #prosthesis #freestyle #boardercross #halfpipe #royalgreenjackets #jockbell #DragonLodge #Tignes #BritishParasnowsport #RoadToPyeongchang
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Read a Previous Update
David John
14 months ago
1
1

Well done Darren your a credit to yourself your family and to your Regiment keep up the hard work Celer et Audax .

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Martin
11 months ago

https://www.gofundme.com/war-veteran-disabled-strongman British disabled war Vectren Please help my campaign to get me to the Arnold classic in Ohio in March please have a read

+ Read More
Twila
11 months ago

pls help by donating and sharing link gofundme.com/tvzx3-soccer-trip

+ Read More
David John
11 months ago

Swiftly I’m so sorry to hear this news I can only imangine how gutted you are but you have let no one down but you have inspired many with your determination and courage your Riflemans spirit has shown through and we are all very proud of you Congratulations for your huge achievement take care best wishes to you in your next venture. Celer et Audax

+ Read More
Michael Baird
11 months ago

Darren, whatever the outcome your fortitude was a shining example to us all; the true spirit of a rifleman! It has been an honour to be part of your journey, my best wishes for the future.

+ Read More
David Eadie
11 months ago

Swift, I am deeply sorry that this is what has happened, you are one the greatest exponents of disabled sport that I know and it is a tragedy that there is (not yet at least) a category that allows you to compete effectively against others. You thoroughly deserved a position at Pyeongchang and it will be to others' detriment that you will not be there. Let us hope that an adequate suspension system can be designed to allow you to compete on a par next time round. Please keep up your brilliant work and know that all at AFPST will give you all the support that we can.

+ Read More
Alice Driver
11 months ago

Congratulations on all you have achieved Swifty! So impressive and such a shame your disability wasn’t taken into account but you did brilliantly. Looking forward to hearing how the binding project progresses. I know this will have a hugely positive impact on so many people’s lives!

+ Read More
Hina Butt
18 months ago

I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,----------------->>ⓌⓌⓌ.joinmate2.ⒸⓄⓂ

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Helen Shaw
21 months ago

Keep up the good work Swifty x

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Shane Willoughby
21 months ago

Well done chaps nice to hear some great successes. Keep up the hard work. Celer et Audax

+ Read More
Pete Deane
24 months ago

Brilliant Swifty...... go for it ... "Swift & Bold " ............

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£13,775 of £15,000 goal

Raised by 307 people in 26 months
Created September 21, 2016
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£10
Anonymous
1 month ago
SW
£100
Sheldon Wellings
1 month ago

GOOD LUCK SWIFTY

KV
£20
Kelly De vernon
11 months ago

Good luck mate, I was in A Coy, 3 Plt in Osnabrück. Your very inspiring person. Swift and bold !!

David John
14 months ago
1
1

Well done Darren your a credit to yourself your family and to your Regiment keep up the hard work Celer et Audax .

+ Read More
Martin
11 months ago

https://www.gofundme.com/war-veteran-disabled-strongman British disabled war Vectren Please help my campaign to get me to the Arnold classic in Ohio in March please have a read

+ Read More
Twila
11 months ago

pls help by donating and sharing link gofundme.com/tvzx3-soccer-trip

+ Read More
David John
11 months ago

Swiftly I’m so sorry to hear this news I can only imangine how gutted you are but you have let no one down but you have inspired many with your determination and courage your Riflemans spirit has shown through and we are all very proud of you Congratulations for your huge achievement take care best wishes to you in your next venture. Celer et Audax

+ Read More
Michael Baird
11 months ago

Darren, whatever the outcome your fortitude was a shining example to us all; the true spirit of a rifleman! It has been an honour to be part of your journey, my best wishes for the future.

+ Read More
David Eadie
11 months ago

Swift, I am deeply sorry that this is what has happened, you are one the greatest exponents of disabled sport that I know and it is a tragedy that there is (not yet at least) a category that allows you to compete effectively against others. You thoroughly deserved a position at Pyeongchang and it will be to others' detriment that you will not be there. Let us hope that an adequate suspension system can be designed to allow you to compete on a par next time round. Please keep up your brilliant work and know that all at AFPST will give you all the support that we can.

+ Read More
Alice Driver
11 months ago

Congratulations on all you have achieved Swifty! So impressive and such a shame your disability wasn’t taken into account but you did brilliantly. Looking forward to hearing how the binding project progresses. I know this will have a hugely positive impact on so many people’s lives!

+ Read More
Hina Butt
18 months ago

I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,----------------->>ⓌⓌⓌ.joinmate2.ⒸⓄⓂ

+ Read More
Helen Shaw
21 months ago

Keep up the good work Swifty x

+ Read More
Shane Willoughby
21 months ago

Well done chaps nice to hear some great successes. Keep up the hard work. Celer et Audax

+ Read More
Pete Deane
24 months ago

Brilliant Swifty...... go for it ... "Swift & Bold " ............

+ Read More
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