GB success for UWE's boardercross athlete

Issue date: 07 July 2010

Rowan Brandreth University of the West of England student Rowan Brandreth has just been selected for the Great Britain boardercross team for the coming winter.

Snowboarder Rowan will be living with the GB team this winter in Morzine, France. He will take part in full-time training in the gym and on the slopes before going to Sweden for two weeks pre-season training in November.

Rowan has just completed his second year of a BA degree in Business Enterprise and says, “Since competing in the student competitions it's been my goal to achieve the GB team. It's going to be a huge commitment - but one I'm ready for. Being on the EliteUWE programme has been a huge help to me - the financial support, strength and conditioning, nutritional advice and physiotherapy has been invaluable to me. It's been a great catalyst for my success.”

Richard Bennett, Performance Manager of UWE's Centre for Sport said, “This is an impressive achievement for both Rowan and UWE and demonstrates that there is real sporting talent here drawn to UWE by the support we are able to offer.”

Boardercross, or snowboard cross, became an Olympic sport in 2006. In it, four racers start in a pack down a course, racing against each other over rolling terrain and a series of jumps and ramps. The fastest two racers from each heat move on to the next round.

Originally from the flat lands of Suffolk, Ryan first took to the slopes on school trips at the age of fourteen. After completing his first year at UWE and achieving good results on the boardercross circuit, Rowan applied to join the EliteUWE scheme. Rowan's initial goal was to be good enough to attend a GB selection camp.

Rowan's achievements to date include twice winning silver medals at the British University Dryslope Championships in boardercross, as well as a snowboard giant slalom bronze medal. Rowan says, “There are concerns over the financial implications of competing on the British team. Despite the glamour of the sport and attracting a large number of sponsors for individual events, it remains largely unfunded below World Cup level with little support from the government for boardercross athletes. My first season may be challenging but I am hoping to attract sponsors.”

UWE provides financial, medical and training support to national and international athletes in a range of sports, all of whom are studying at UWE. Applications are made annually and are accepted from both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The EliteUWE scheme provides members with free access to physiotherapy, nutritional support, sport psychology and a strength training programme.

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