A GIFTED young snowboarder has secured a place in the elite junior Team GB squad and says he now has his sights set on competing at the Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014
Although Matt McCormick from Ravelston Road, Bearsden is only 13 he has carved out an impressive junior reputation on the ski slopes at West of Scotland Snow Sport Centre in Bearsden and at Sno!Zone Scotland, Braehead who sponsor Matt.
The Bearsden Academy pupil said: “It came as quite a surprise when I found out.
“I filled out a profile of myself mentioning everything I’d done over the summer time, then just forgot about it.
“At the end of October I received an e-mail from Hamish [head coach] saying I’d been selected.”
The elite junior, who took up the sport four years ago, has been specialising in the freestyle category for the past three years.
He said: “There are two types of snowboarding, race and freestyle. With race it is the fastest to the bottom that wins.
“But with freestyle there are tricks, jumps and backspins, as well as rails.”
Rails, as the name implies, are when a snowboarder slides down a rail balancing on his board.
When Matt first tried this he fell off and another snowboarder landed on him, breaking his arm.
Remembering this he said: “I was a lot less experienced then. I now know when it is safe and when it is not to use the rail.”
The Scottish Freestyle Snowboard Champion in his age group is now pencilled in to start training in France, Switzerland and hopefully the USA to prepare him for what will undoubtedly be a tough road to compete at the highest levels.
His aim now is to compete at the winter Olympics in Solol, Russian, about 250 miles north east of Moscow in four years time.
He said:” I will be just the right age to compete at the winter Olympics. This is one of my goals.”
Matt’s selection for the team tops a great start to the season in which he has already won a number of competitions including taking first place in the 13-16 year old category at the recent Lowlander event which was held at Aberdeen Snowsports Centre.
Martin Lisle, co-ordinator of the sponsored rider programme at SNO!zone, said: “Being called up to the British team is a huge achievement for Matt and something every young snowboarder dreams of.
“His results so far this season have shown exactly why he caught the eye of the team and we wish him the best of luck at all the winter’s competitions.”