AIG's partnership with the Endeavour Fund is being strengthened by our continued support of a range of sporting challenges undertaken by wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans determined to push boundaries towards their recovery.
Earlier this year, AIG in the UK sponsored a team of four veterans from the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST) to attend AIG's annual Winter Summit in Stowe, Vermont, in the U.S.. Now in its 10th year, the event has helped AIG bring together clients, brokers, and other partners, raising more than $4 million – $700,000 this year alone – for Disabled Sports USA's (DSUSA) Warfighter Sports program.
The AFPST is a charitable organization and grantee of the Endeavour Fund, run by military and ex-military volunteers. It uses adaptive alpine skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic/biathlon, to enhance the recovery of wounded, injured, and sick Personnel, both serving and Veteran, by reintroducing the spirit of challenge and competition that underpins normal military life.
By linking the AFPST team with DSUSA, who hosted them at their ski camp, the AIG Winter Summit allowed the company to explore a transatlantic dimension to the partnership with the Endeavour Fund for the first time.
Anthony Baldwin, CEO, UK and AIG Europe Limited: "Since our partnership with the Endeavour Fund began six months ago, each new challenge undertaken by these remarkable men and women of the armed forces makes us even more proud that AIG is playing a part in helping them rediscover their resilience, strength, and fighting spirit."
The team's experience at the AIG Winter Summit
AIG gave the team of four – Ollie Thorn, Dan Ord, Swifty, and Brigadier Fred Hargreaves – the opportunity to ski and snowboard alongside some of the best disabled coaches and athletes in the world, sharing their military experiences, swapping tips about their recovery journey, and improving their on piste performance skills, whilst making some great friendships along the way.
The team’s feedback on the summit is featured below:
Ollie Thorn (sit skier): "The opportunity to join the AIG Winter Summit in Stowe with Warfighters and Disabled Sports USA was an amazing experience, which surpassed all of my expectations. To be able to ski with a number of other sit skiers in what I called the 'wolf pack' was both fun and extremely beneficial to my ability and confidence. Mr. Chris Devlin Young, a four-time Paralympian, was an extremely knowledgeable and inspirational coach who pushed us that little bit harder before the giant slalom races."
Dan Ord (visually-impaired guide): "The week at the AIG Winter Summit in Stowe has been amazing; being with Warfighters and members of Disabled Sports USA and the youth of America has left its mark. I feel honored to be among these athletes. The amazing team from AIG made us feel very welcome and at home with no time or effort spared; the scale and passion in which they support and host this event was totally mind-blowing."
Swifty (snowboard): "The AIG Winter Summit in Stowe can only be described as an outstanding event. Being able to participate as a member of AFPST was a fantastic opportunity and we all certainly gained a lot from the chance to ski and snowboard with DSUSA and the U.S. Warfighters. On the hill, the caliber of the instruction was second to none, and for me personally, the two snowboard instructors Chris 'Kep' Koeppe and Reggie Showers, were the perfect combination."
Brigadier Fred Hargreaves (Chairman): "I have been involved in disabled sports since 2007 and see the AIG Winter Summit as one of the most well-organized and uplifting experiences of my career. The partnership between AIG and Disabled Sports USA is inspirational, and being able to share experiences, both on and off snow, with our U.S. colleagues alongside whom we have fought for over a decade, was extraordinarily beneficial. Thank you, on behalf of the AFPST and the Endeavour Fund, to all volunteers, staff, and supporters of the event – it means a great deal to the Servicemen and women of both nations."