A Chester  soldier has just got  back from a week’s skiing competition in Val D’Isere, France.

Ryan McAnerney is a soldier  serving with C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry  (RMLY) based at Fox Barracks in  Chester.

Aged 21, Ryan lives in Northwood, Shropshire and serves as an  Army Reserve soldier with the  Chester-based Light Reconnaissance Unit.

Ryan joined the Army Reserve 12  months ago after meeting the recruiting team.

Ryan went to Navigation  Primary School in Altrincham,  Parrswood High School in Didsbury and then studied at Deeside  College in North Wales so had  plenty of friends in the Chester  area.

After completing his Army recruit training at Pirbright near  Aldershot last July, Ryan has been  concentrating on his Phase 2 specialist training, including Bowman  Radio Signals, Machine Gun  course and is currently studying  for his theory and practical test to  gain his Light Goods Vehicle licence.

 He said: “Joining the Army Reserve has opened up so many different opportunities. I have done  things that I would never have had  the opportunity to do as a civilian.”

Ryan joined 150 other Army Reserve Officers and Soldiers for a  week’s skiing instruction and competition in Val D’Isere, all from the  Yeomanry,  the UK’s Army Reserve  Cavalry and part of the Royal Armoured Corps.

“This was my first skiing exercise with the Army Reserve”  said Ryan. “Four days of skiing  tuition under instruction, improving our skiing techniques.

“We were also able to explore the  Val D’Isere and Tignes mountain  ranges travelling in excess of 30  miles each day on skis.

As a member of the Army Reserve, Ryan is paid for the time he trains; Army Reserve soldiers also receive annual tax free training incentives, paid leave and a contribution towards their travel cost from home to place of duty.

“On the final two days we were all  expected to take part in the Regimental Skiing competition,  aimed at all levels of expertise, a  Grand Slalom, each competitor  had two goes with a combined time  to win.”

 Although Ryan did not win any  medals in the Slalom, his team did  win the final day Regimental cross  country skiing and orienteering  competition around Valdisere and  Tignes mountains.

When not training with the Army Reserve , Ryan enjoys going to the gym and playing golf.

Ryan is employed by Airbus as an  apprentice in Aircraft manufacture.

He has been with the  Hawarden-based company for  two-and-a-half years.

“Airbus have been very supportive of my Army Reserve career”  said Ryan. “I learn many transferable skills with the Army Reserve which has also given me  more confidence and helps maintain my fitness.” All Army Reserve soldiers based in Chester receive free sports facility membership to Chester West and Cheshire Council facilities, swimming and use of the gym help maintain soldiers fitness, something they are tested on regularly.

Ryan is now looking forward to  gaining his light goods vehicle licence so he can drive the Regiment’s armoured land rovers the  Weapon Mounted Installation Kit  or “WMIK” for short.

In September, he will be off to  Denmark for two weeks overseas  training exercise with the  Chester-based unit.