19 August 2023
Winter sports like snowboarding are steadily gaining popularity in the UK, and with the Winter Olympics becoming a more prominent part of international sport, snowboarding itself is only getting bigger. If your kids have seen snowboarding on TV and are interested, then it's the perfect time to get them involved. Who knows? They might even make it to Team GB!
Due to the lack of snow in the UK, you would expect a lack of facilities for kids to develop their snowboarding skills. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
There are currently 200+ dry slopes and indoor snow centres in the UK, meaning kids can practise their skills all year round to prepare for the real deal. You don’t have to go abroad and trek to mountains to practise snowboarding - it’s all right here at home. This also means you don't have to break the bank by spending money on trips abroad for your future snowboarding gold medalist!
These centres also provide training so your kids will be on their boards in no time. Before you know it, they’ll be showing off their skills and shouting to you “Did you see that?!” There really is no better feeling as a parent.
Indoor snow centres have been the home for many current Team GB members who claim these centres helped them massively to get competition ready. Once your little ones have mastered basic snowboarding skills, the next stage would be to compete in local and national competitions held across the country and abroad.
You can enter national/international competitions individually or through your local snowboarding club. Joining a snowboarding club is an excellent idea as these provide great exposure for talent to be spotted by larger snowboarding squads. If you’re good and lucky enough to be spotted, these larger squads will put you on track to becoming a world-class snowboarder. They are designed to help develop youth team members into athletes that can compete in British teams worldwide.
With snowboarding not being the most popular of sports within the UK, It's even more possible for aspiring snowboarders to become Team GB members due to there being a limited pool of talent. Compare this to a sport like football where the talent pool is massive and participation numbers are through the roof - it can take a lot of work to get noticed. Due to snowboarding being a less mainstream sport, coaches can provide young, talented snowboarders with the training and attention needed to progress.
If you think becoming a part of Team GB is too audacious, listen to this: current Team GB member Huw Nightingale made the 2022 team and competed at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing at only 20 years old. It is possible if you try!
With more and more funding being put into grassroots snowboarding, there isn't a better time to get involved as the financial and public support will only get bigger. There is such a big community in this country for the sport, which means your kids will make friends for life and visit some amazing places, all the while keeping active by participating in a sport they love.