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GB Snowboarders Pass on Tips to Novice Skateboarders

Britain’s top snowboarding talent have joined with young Londoners for a special event to mark GB Snowsport’s Project Balance initiative.

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The 2019-2020 Snowboard Slopestyle Crystal Globe winner Katie Ormerod,  2018 Winter Olympic Big Air bronze medallist Billy Morgan and World Cup Squad members Billy Cockrell and Matt McCormick were at Meanwhile 2 – described as one of London’s most iconic skateparks.

They passed on tips and advice and showcased the connections between snowboarding and skateboarding.

They were there to support year 7 and year 9 pupils from Westminster Academy who have been learning foundational skateboarding skills over the past six weeks in a project devised and launched by GB Snowsport, the National Governing Body for elite British snowsport.

The athletes also spoke about British hopes ahead of a new Winter Olympics season and the responsibility that sport has to support young people as the nation continues its recovery from the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s really great to be down here today to see how well these kids are developing their board skills,” said Katie Ormerod.

“We’ve all felt the impact of the past 18 months and it’s been really tough for all of us, but young people have had it particularly hard.

“I’m really pleased that our sport is finding a way to give young people new skills and new experiences after the past year; this is a big year for British snowsport, but even while we’re focusing on the new season it’s so important that we don’t lose sight of the positive impact we can have on people’s lives here at home.”

Snowboarders (L-R) Matt McCormick, Billy Morgan, Katie Ormerod & Billy Cockrell with youngsters – photo GB Snowsport

Matt McCormick said they all started out by getting into something they were lucky to have the opportunity to try.

“If these kids go on to develop and improve their skills, on skateboards or on snowboards, that’s amazing,” he said.

“But even if not, if they get a new experience out of it, learn something new, or feel inspired to try something else instead then that’s a brilliant outcome.”

Project Balance, which launched in May, was devised as a means of creating new connections between young people in urban environments and Britain’s snowsport scene in the year ahead of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

It provides tailored skateboarding lessons that draw on links between skateboarding and snowboarding.

It also aims to offer young people an introduction to transferable skills that can be put into place in education and in their wider lives.

At the Project Balance skateboarding event – photo GB Snowsport

The project is funded by the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation with support from Westminster Council and Semble, and will run until mid-July 2021.

At the end students will visit  The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

They will get the chance to put their new skills into practice on the snow alongside members of the country’s elite Freestyle Snowboard squads.

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