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16 October 2014

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Interviews: John Mitchell from Dundee
Lesley McKenna and Jenny Jones are two of Britain's top snowboarders. They've both won a slew of titles and are currently helping out on the AIM Series tour which recently visited a couple of schools in Edinburgh. Here's what they had to say:

If I got to snowboard for a living, I'd be this happy!
How long have you been on the road?
Jenny: I’ve been out for about a week and then Lesley’s just joined for today, I think.
Lesley: I’m just passing through - I’m on my way to France. I was in the area though, so I thought I’d come and show face and give support.

Jenny in 'Mood Photo' pose
click to enlarge
Has anything amusing happened yet?
Jenny: We’ve had quite enthusiastic kids . We have three of the kids who get dressed up in the snowboard gear and they do a bit of a modelling show and show off the gear and stuff like that, which is quite funny. And then we’ve had them trampolining, where they put the snowboard on and they trampoline with the snowboard on, which is quite good, but we’ve had a few slip-ups on that though [laughs].

Does trampolining help a lot with snowboarding?
Jenny: It helps with spatial awareness and things like that - so learning what it feels like to go upside down and spinning and things like that. So, if you started off with maybe trampolining or gymnastics, it can really help.
Lesley: It can really help with your confidence as well - if you’re confident with being in the air, then you’re going to be a lot more confident when you’re on the snowboard in the air.

Snowboard fashion - rad!
click to enlarge
How have the kids been?
Jenny: They’ve been really positive actually. There have been lots of questions about how to get into it, and where to go and stuff like that and ‘does it hurt when you fall over’ and ‘what’s the gear like’ and ‘how much does it cost’. So it’s nice to know that they’re interested in it - it’s just something other than your regular sports, which get promoted a lot more on TV and things and it’s a good way to show people that there’s other stuff out there.
Lesley: I was surprised as well at how little of them had actually seen any snowboarding on the television, because there’s a lot of it on there. I think that some of them just aren’t up in the middle of the night or early in the morning when most of it’s on. So they were really stoked to see the little snowboarding film that we’re showing.
Jenny: Seeing how skiing has come on as well, which has a very similar style now with the clothing and the new skis - it’s taken on the same sort of aspects as snowboarding really, like with the skate background with baggy pants and all that kind of thing. So skiing seems to be catching up now, so there’s more of an equal balance.

click to enlarge
Is it weird teaching them about snowboarding in the middle of summer?
Jenny: Yeah, it was quite funny yesterday [laughs] when it was boiling hot weather and they had to put on this woolly hat and goggles and it was a bit bizarre and they were sweating, but you know, it’s all fun. It’s the best time to tell them about it, though, because it all leads up to the AIM Series events that they have, like the competitions and stuff that they can come along for on the dry slopes which are later on in the year.
Lesley: They really run throughout the whole summer. So the first one’s on the 5th and 6th of July and they run right through the Summer and Autumn and finish in March with the British Championships.
Jenny: So it shows that it’s not just a winter sport, and that you can do it on the dry slope and do it all year round.


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