Born and brought up in Norfolk, for the UK’s flattest county I’ve gone suprisingly far with snowboarding!
I learnt to ski when I was 3 and when I was 8 I decided to give snowboarding a go on a family trip to Jackson Hole, I’ve not skied since. I would ride at my local slope Norfolk Snowsports Club regularly on the weekends but it wasn’t until I was around 13 I got into snowboarding in a big way. I started attending the freestyle sessions midweek and started progressing rapidly, I began entering competitions such as my local competiton ‘The Farmers Jam’ and the Orange Aim Series, and started having some success.
It was around this time I started going to McNab Junior camps and got instructed by the late Keith McKintosh (RIP) and Dave Seeley. On the camps I improved my technique greatly, head home progress some more back at the dry slope then out again. I got selected for the McNab Junior Team and represented them for 2 seasons, winning 2 British Snowboardcross titles and many more podiums on the UK circuit. I was lucky enough to feature in a couple of local snowboard films; Snowflextrowse and Slappy Hour.
After I finished my studies at college I decided to take a year out before I went to university, I worked and saved up to team up with my good friend Will Nangle for a season in Whistler, Canada. I pretty much spent 6 months in Whistler snowboarding every day, it was amazing!
Upon returning I begun university at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh and started riding on the university circuit with competitions such as BUSC and BUDS. I’ve had a lot of success in them and have a huge collection of medals at home! I’ve been heavily involved in my university’s snowsports club HWSSC, this is my 4th year on the club’s committee and I have played a great role in transforming the club into a friendly, inclusive and competitive club, I was Secretary from 09/10, President from 10/11 and for two years now (11/12 -12/13) Head of Trips.
I have won the clubs ‘Duncan Murray Award’ two times, which acknowledges the member who shows exceptional amounts of participation to the club and involvement in competitions competitive. The award is a free place on the British University Alpine Championships in the Alps; BUSC Main Event. In my first year I won the Parrallel Slalom, Dual Slalom, came 2nd in Half Pipe and 3rd in Slopestyle. Last year I won the Snowboardcross, Dual Slalom and Half Pipe events.
In Autumn 2010 I put myself forward for the GB Snowboardcross Team and was successful at the October selection camp in Zermatt, Switzerland. Since then I have competed with the GB team in Norway, Turkey, France and Switzerland whilst popping back and forth for uni for my studies. My university have been very supportive and have allowed me to be flexible in my studies, so I can balance them with my GB team commitments.
My highlight so far was the opening ceremony at the World University Winter Games, it was very surreal walking around a packed out stadium of 25,000 people all cheering for you. It was also my best points result, coming 29th and I was on Eurosport 2!
The 11/12 season went well and I continued to progress well. I came 2nd at the British Championships, qualified three times into heats on the FIS Circuit at; Sedrun and Hohenems FIS races, and the French National Championships. My best result 14th at the French Nationals where I progressed through the first heats for the first time. I was up against the Olympic bronze medalist Tony Ramoin and two other World Cup athletes, I was competitive too so I was very pleased with my performance. It ended the season brilliantly with my best points result with 57.5 FIS points, one more result like that and I can qualify for World Cup level!
I really enjoying being on the GB Team this year in particular, it’s a great crew of riders, all pushing eachother and we all want the team to do the best it can. Despite my lack of snowtime I’ve managed to firmly establish myself within the team with some good results and my goal is to consistently make it through to heats at FIS/Europa cup level so I can make it to World Cup standard as soon as possible with a view of the Olympics.
Thanks to team rider Tom Akass, Steven Mckenna and Craig Swatton for the photos!