Australia’s elite winter Para-sport athletes have commenced their Northern Hemisphere racing season with some promising performances in IPC snowboarding and alpine skiing events recently in the Netherlands.

Snowboarder Joany Badenhorst led the Australian charge, winning bronze in her Banked Slalom (Lower Limb class) at the IPC Snowboard European Cup on the slopes of Landgraaf.

Teammate Simon Patmore also performed solidly in the men’s Banked Slalom (Upper Limb class) to finish sixth overall, as he continues his transition towards the pinnacle of Para-snowboard after a Paralympic medal-winning career in athletics.

“I felt confident going into the competition after having a successful week of training on the glacier. The course wasn’t as technical as last year however I knew if I made tight lines around the gates and pushed against the berms I would generate enough speed for a fast time,” Patmore said.

Meanwhile, Melissa Perrine and Shaun Pianta showed strong form in the IPC Alpine Skiing season opener. Perrine medalled in three events, winning gold in the slalom (vision-impaired class) at the 2017 IPC Alpine Skiing European Cup and dual silver medals in the slalom at the 2017 IPC World Cup races one and two.

The medal haul was enough to secure equal fifth with Poland on the medal tally for Australia at the European Cup, behind the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and France.