Mounts Bay alumni Rowan Coultas has just become the British Snowboard Slopestyle Champion at a recent competition in Laax, Switzerland.
Aptly named “The Brits” the competition is open to all British Snowboarders, many of whom compete professionally all over the world. Snowboard Slopestyle involves competitors riding down a course of “rails” (physical items) and “kickers” (high jumps) that have to be negotiated as stylishly as possible whilst performing amazing gymnastic feats known as “tricks” at speeds of up to 70mph!
In challenging conditions his winning run included a cranked method over the roller feature and huge backside double-cork 1080 nose-grab on the final kicker in a performance packed with technicality and style.
Snowboarding is an extreme sport and as such can be very dangerous. Landing a trick at high speed involves an amazing amount of skill and earlier this year Rowan sustained an injury that has kept him out of serious competition for almost the entire winter season. The injury required major hip surgery and he spent the summer undergoing an intensive accelerated rehabilitation at St Georges Park the Football Association’s new national football centre. It is the world-class training home of the 24 England teams and provides a national home for coach education. He then spent the next few months slowly returning to the sport with the GB Park and Pipe Team at various locations around the world before returning to competition at the start of the year in China. Since then he has made steady progress in world competitions, coming eighth in the Czech World Cup at Grandvalira followed by fourth place in Andorra last month.
Like a lot of sportsmen, Rowan is very unassuming, preferring to just focus on his sport and rarely seeks the limelight. However speaking afterwards in his typically modest style he said “This is a great end to the season, it didn’t start that well but I’ve worked hard and managed to come back from injury pretty quickly and got a few results at the end of the season”. Rowan is currently an elite member of the GB Park and Pipe team and is hoping to represent Great Britain in the forthcoming 2018 Winter Olympics which will take place in the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Incredibly Rowan is still just 18 years old and managed to attend Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance to study for his GCSEs whilst training in Austria for 2 years. He achieved academic success thanks to a distance learning programme created for him by the school, which allowed him to train and learn via a combination of e-mail, video calls and visits to the Academy for a few weeks every few months.
On learning the news Mrs Davey said: “This is great news. Rowan is another successful alumni of our high performance programme that supports potential athletes to realise their dreams by putting in place individual learning programmes. We are all very proud of him and can’t wait to see what future successes await him.”
Rowan is currently finishing the season in Mayrhofen, Austria but if you look carefully, you might see him surfing on any one of our glorious Cornish beaches for a few weeks over the summer before he embarks on his training programme in Australia and New Zealand. You can also follow his progress on his Facebook here.