Sunday, November 23, 2008

Its Winter - The Snow has Arrived!!

Everything up on the mountain and down in the valley is covered with snow! Its the first big snow fall of this season and its got me all excited.

Its going to be a very busy season so I am greatfull to my newest major sponsor, PokerStars, who are based in my home country, the Isle of Man; without their tremendous support and investment, i would not have been able to attend my current training camp in Austria. This is a massive bonus and something I simply couldnt have afforded without their continous help.

I have been in Sass Fee the last week training on the course there with the Swiss national team and also the British snowboard cross development team. As I am the only athlete in the British world cup snowboard cross team I don't get the same team atmosphere as most riders so it was really cool the last week riding with the dev team guys and girls. There are some new people on the team this year so it was good to meet them all too.

Because we are doing different competitions through the season I probably won't hang out with them much which is a shame but I wish them all good luck for their comps.

I am on my way to Hintertux in Austria now. I am actually typing this while in the car. I am not driving don't worry, my coach Markus is and he's just started playing Cecilia from his i pod over the radio!!

We are planning on being in Hintertux till the middle of December when I am going to the next world cup of the season which is in Arosa, Switzerland.

I will put up another update soon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arbory school and lifeboat rescue

I went home to the Isle of Man over the weekend and had two special things to do while I was there.

On Friday I continued my grass roots campaign where I am going into lots of schools to talk to the kids about what it’s like to be a professional athlete and the joy of sport. Friday was great because I went into my local primary school, Arbory primary. It was really good to talk to the kids - there was around 60 of them - and they really seemed to enjoy it. Especially the videos I showed them. There was an extra element to this day too because BBC were there filming the whole thing.

On Saturday I was “rescued” by the port St Mary life boat crew.

I have been involved with the port St Mary branch of the RNLI before when I opened their fundraising day in August and I enjoyed seeing all the guys again. The day was a training exercise where the life boat and crew came and rescued me off a rock (which I had been place on). It was great fun on the lifeboat bouncing all over the place over the waves. Thankfully I wasn’t sick but I did feel rather queasy!

I am trying to get some publicity for the very important charity which relies totally on donations so I was very please that ITV came to cover the day.