One of the oldest ski clubs in the world – Kandahar Ski Club was founded by Sir Arnold Lunn and other British skiers on the 30th of January 1924 in Murren’s Palace Hotel, Switzerland. It was established as a ski racing club with the purpose of raising the standard of Downhill and Slalom racing and to secure international recognition for these events.
It took its name after the oldest of Downhill races, the Roberts of Kandahar. A cup for this race had been donated by Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar, commander of the British Army, Victoria Cross winner and who’s title was taken from the great battle he won in Afghanistan in 1880. Various suggestions for a badge were proposed, however Alan d’Egville the outstanding ski cartoonist of the period suggested a simple “K”. The Kandahar K is now synonymous with ski racing around the world. Kandahar members and in particular Sir Arnold Lunn’s efforts to have Downhill and Slalom recognised were rewarded in 1930 when the FIS finally gave them official recognition. In February 1931 the first World Alpine Skiing Championships were staged in Murren, Switzerland and were organised by the British. Downhill and Slalom were then included in the Winter Olympics for the first time in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Sir Arnold Lunn also set up the Arlberg-Kandahar (AK) races which were the precursor to todays World Cup circuit and which paved the way for many of todays most famous World Cup Downhill courses including Garmisch, St Anton, Sestriere and Chamonix, courses that all still bear Kandahar’s name.
Kandahar Ski Club has a broad and distinguished membership that includes royalty, Olympic gold medalists and influential personalities from the world of winter sport. It is a thriving club with around 1400 members and in 2014 it celebrated it’s 90th birthday. Members enthusiastically participate in numerous amateur ski racing events, with the highlight being the infamous ‘Inferno’ Downhill which has been running since 1928.
Kandahar Racing evolved from Kandahar Ski Club as a separate Swiss sporting association in 1996 with the purpose of training future generations of ski racers. As a training organisation it has played a huge role in the development of many of GBR’s current top snowsports athletes. The aim of Kandahar Racing today remains unchanged – we hope to encourage as many youngsters as possible to take up competitive snowsports, we hope to provide them with the best opportunity of achieving their goals and we hope to instill in them a lifelong passion for winter sport.