Accessibility Links

Redline Group are proud to continue as the main sponsors of The Outspan Rebels

23/05/19 Martin Crapper Managing Director

Redline Group, the Permanent & Contract High Technology and Engineering Recruitment Specialists, are proud to be the main sponsor of the Outspan Rebels Visually Impaired (VI) Ski Race Team for the third consecutive year.

The Outspan Rebels are a collective of VI Skiers from across the UK – brought together to introduce VI skiing onto the able-bodied indoor ski-race circuit, making the sport more inclusive for VI Skiers.

The Outspan Rebels are from many different clubs around the UK and each quarter, they join together & train with their Head Coach, Charlotte Evans MBE, and 2014 Paralympian Gold Medallist. By pooling their resources, they reduce the costs to access world-class, specialist training for visually impaired skiing & guiding in the UK.

Martin Crapper, Redline Managing Director comments: “It has been a real privilege over the last few years to see the achievements of these amazing skiers. We’ve been lucky enough to see some of them start from scratch and reach incredible levels of competence and confidence during our time supporting them. We’re often invited to watch some of the training sessions, and I’m always left open-mouthed by the bravery, speed, determination and passion from the skiers and guides. I’ve occasionally tried to ski with my eyes closed (and been in some white outs) and I can manage about 3 metres before I panic!  Proud and inspired to be involved with the club and the athletes.”

Jamie Fuller, Founder of the Outspan Rebels comments: “We are hugely grateful to have Redline Group onboard as headline sponsors for 2019.  Outspan is a small club and as such we find it difficult to attract funding.   Redline have supported us for a number of years & without their sponsorship we would probably not survive as a club.”

Jamie continues: “Most outdoor sports available to Blind and VI athletes require them to be attached to a sighted guide. Tandem bikes, tethered sighted running guide, tethered open water swimmers…. With skiing the athlete is in control of the speed they are not attached to their guide – the guide makes a trail of sound for the blind athlete to follow apart from that the athlete is completely free. Skiing brings VI athletes’ confidence, self-esteem & inclusion – apart from anything its really good fun.”

Why funding is vital?

“For a VI to ski – the need a guide to be their eyes.  The guide’s costs are paid for by the VI – slope pass – coaching cost – hotels – flights – food – drinks – transfers etc... Guides are not paid for their time; it is just their expenses that are covered.  In many cases the athletes are kids or totally blind so a parent or carer will also have to come along and be on snow to help them with life stuff, using the toilet or eating lunch.  So compared to an able-bodied child, that you could send on their own with a school group or a training camp – a VI may have 3 x times the cost to cover.”

What do we spend the money on?

“The cost of training – Outspan organise a group of up to 8 VI’s to ski together – we find a suitable ski instructor (they need to be qualified to the highest level to cope with the disabled). We negotiate a group rate & take that instructor with us as a dedicated race coach.  By removing the coaching cost for the VI it can bring the cost of the camp down to be similar to an able-bodied athlete going an away on their own to a camp.  Still expensive, but more realistically affordable.”