Snow Scholar soars into Team GB

University of Leeds Snowboard Sports Scholar Gillian Finnerty will be joining the Great Britain training camp in the snowboard cross early next year.

Gillian has had great success this past year dominating the BUCS snowboarding circuit and recently won the Indoor England and British Championships in snowboard cross.

Despite freestyle being her favourite discipline she was advised to give snowboard cross a go. At the recent talent ID event she clocked second fastest time just behind Olympian Zoe Gillings and was quickly asked to join the GB side for training out in Austria at the beginning of 2016.

Snowboard cross is where four or six snow boarders race on a course filed with banked turns, kickers, rollers and other obstacles. The fastest people go through to the next round until there’s a winner.

“It’s basically like being on a snowboarding rollercoaster in a form of a race. It’s really fun providing you don’t end up crashing!” Gillian beams.

Gillian has decided to have a two month suspension of her PhD studies at the University while she focuses on her Snowboard cross.

“This is a really great opportunity for me and I’d like to thank the admin staff for the Bioenergy CDT and my supervisors for being so supportive and allowing me to do this.

“I’d also like to give a shout out to my snowboard sponsors; Raven Snowboards, Volt Snow Co, Misguided Fools, minus-nine and NUCO. And of course a big thanks goes to my parents for helping me with the costs!”

Gillian has dived straight into it as the indoor season begins and has won the British the indoor SBX champs most recently. She will be based with the team in Zell am Ziller in Austria, from the end of December until end of February. She will then go on to the BRITS in Tignes to compete in all disciplines, and then compete for the University at BUSC main event, getting those all important BUCS points for Leeds.

Best of luck or the year ahead Gillian!