The GB Snowboard Cross Team
The Great British snowboarder cross team spends their winter season training in Morzine each year.
Snowboarder cross is a race involving 4 people stood abreast and heading down a track competing to cross the finish line first. While heading down the track, competitors have to tackle berms, drops and gap jumps, all of which challenge the riders’ ability to stay in control.
Local Morzine magazine Yodel caught up with Tom Farrow of Team GB to discuss life as a snowboard cross rider.
“It’s my first season in Morzine but the team has been using Morzine as their base for around 6 or 7 years. We train here because of the excellent local tracks, Les Gets’ is amazing and so is the track at Avoriaz.
Morzine is the perfect base to access both easily and it has a really welcoming atmosphere.
There are 10 of us on the team overall and some of us live together which is wicked, it’s actually really fun. We all do seasonal jobs around our training, there’s no pay whatsoever therefore I have a transfer driving job. Some of the team can’t afford to be out here so they commute from the UK just for training camps and competitions. Some people miss competing in the competitions just because they can’t afford it, which is a real shame.
We are doing a minimum of 8 competitions during this season. We will compete in more if our finances allow it though. My mum has adopted the role of my manager, which she is really good at. She badgers people
to get me sponsorship and help me get along with my career.
We have to do fitness training including running and going to the gym and when it comes to eating we all know to eat sensibly and in moderation. The team also knows when they can and can’t go out and get drunk, we have to stay dry around competition time.
People who want to get into boarder cross should just enter as many competitions as they can. Anyone can enter FIS (International Ski Federation) competitions no matter what their ability so they’re a great way to get into it.
I started skiing when I was younger but made the change to snowboarding when I was 12 years old. I competed in competitions while I was at school and took it up again at University after focusing on getting my A-Levels. I got the opportunity to trial for Team GB after I was spotted by some scouts when I was competing.
I studied philosophy at University and if I couldn’t get into Team GB I probably would have become a lawyer. My plan was always to get onto Team GB though, so if there hadn’t been scouts there that day I would have made it to trial for Team GB off my own back.
At the moment we do not have enough race points to enter the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics so our training plan is focused on entering South Korea in 2018. We are hoping to attract more sponsors and funding to help build up our race points.
Ideally that will happen as a result of all the new members – the team has had a complete overhaul for this season. We need to build a bigger track record, it’s just getting us out there and competing for now.”
Good Luck to the team!