Fridge Kids” Snowsport Nation Pumped By Freestyle Airbag Debut.
Read this press release as a PDF here here
Great Britain’s “Fridge Kids” and grassroots development programme pumped by new Sport England-funded freestyle airbag.
Great Britain’s rapidly rising freestyle snowsports stars received a significant boost to the team’s performance and grassroots programme with a new giant freestyle airbag providing year-round practice in the absence of snow and mountains.
Engineered to create the safest and most realistic learning environment possible for freeskiers and snowboarders, the Katal-manufactured airbag will be hosted at the Chill Factore in Manchester ahead of touring UK indoor and dry slopes, aimed at positively impacting homegrown snowboarders and freeskiers nation wide. The unique Canadian manufactured airbag is designed to emulate a real jump, providing a shaped landing surface with a “knuckle” to aim past, making it possible for athletes to gauge optimum and overshoot landing trajectories and assess proper approach speeds to take.
Secured by Performance Director, Paddy Mortimer and Snowboard Head Coach, Hamish McKnight and funded by Sport England, the new arrival will be fundamental in taking British grassroots snowsports to the next level.
“The hope is that kids can learn tricks earlier and practice them more often, meaning that the next generation are supported before they even reach national team level. Inspiring the next generation through grassroots is so important for us. It’s the building blocks for our vision of growing the sport across the country, establishing Britain as competitive in the global arena and sustaining international podium success” commented McKnight.
GBFreeski’s Head Coach, Pat Sharples expands this message:
“Having our own air bag in the UK will be hugely productive as this is the perfect way to safely help develop our young up and coming skiers and snowboarders hone their techniques and continue to drive the journey from homegrown grassroots sport to the top of the international podium. This is a massive step forward for our grassroots programs and UK based training camps.”
Without natural snowy high-altitude training environments, such airbags (as well as artificial slopes and indoor snow facilities) are fundamental to the unique training conditions of British elite freeskiers and freestyle snowboarders – affectionately coined the “Fridge Kids” from rapidly emerging international media interest.
This airbag is also fundamental for national Team athletes trying to secure their position for the Sochi 2014 Games and all other major competitions, providing a useful training tool as an outlet for developing innovative and increasingly difficult tricks. GBFreestyle snowboarder, Billy Morgan said: “If you can’t visualise a trick before you try it, it can be quite dangerous, so being able to try a trick before taking it onto the snow is super helpful. Using airbags is definitely becoming essential as tricks are progressing.”
Great Britain Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard extend their thanks to UK Sport, Sport England, The National Lottery, Chill Factore, Katal and BSS for their support of British grassroots and performance snowsports on their journey to the top.
All in all, a hugely successful week of freeskiing, showcasing some of Britain’s best at the British Freeski Championships.
Notes To Editors
The dedicated freeski discpline programme of British Ski & Snowboard Ltd, GBFreeski promotes participation in, and the advancement of freestyle snowsports in Great Britain, and provides support to British athletes competing internationally in preparation for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. For more information about GBFreeski, its mission, values and structure, please see gbfreeski.com.
For More Information please contact:
Emma Fergusson, Press Officer M: +44 (0)7850 573 466