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16 October 2014

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Do you think that schools should make more of an effort to embrace alternative sports such as snowboarding?
Lesley: Absolutely. You know, I think that less and less teenagers are getting into the more orthodox sports these days, and I think that’s really sad. So I think that it’s a great thing to get them into sports like snowboarding and skateboarding, because they’re interested in those sports because of the fashion and music side, so they already have an interest because they’re kind of cool. So, to then encourage them to actually participate, I think is definitely the way forward, and they’re so receptive to learning about the sport and they want to participate, purely because they think it’s cool. So I think it’s a definite winner.

Do you count this as ‘training’ at all?
Lesley: You know, I’ve come here today and I’ve already had a little bounce on the trampoline and [laughs] so I’ve nearly learnt something new, so in a way, yeah. I think that for me, and the position I hold within snowboarding, it’s really important that I encourage other people to get involved. You know, I’ve got so far in the sport and I’ve had so many good experiences form the sport, that I really want other people to share in those, and to be here gives me an opportunity to do that.

The lure of expensive kit
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What have you learnt from the kids?
Lesley: It’s always nice to see enthusiasm. It’s easy to take a sport like snowboarding or freestyle skiing and the environment you do the sport in and take it for granted. But when you see people who have never seen a lot of those sports watch the film and hear about it, and you see the enthusiasm in them, it kind of re-kindles your enthusiasm and that’s one of the most important things to have in a sport - that kind of enthusiasm and motivation. So yeah, I think I’ve gotten a lot from today already

When you snowboard in the off-season, do you think of it more as training or just as riding?
Jenny: I wouldn’t say that at all because in a way you are always training, but I’ve never seen it as a chore, and that’s why I enjoy the sport so much, because no-one’s going to make me get up and make me go snowboarding - it’s what I want to do. And in the summers, it’s not really training, because you can go out to glaciers in France and Europe, where they have snow all year round, and sometimes it’s a lot more fun because the weather’s always sunny and you’ve got the soft snow and all they have is a park built, so they’ve got jumps and a halfpipe and all the things that you love really. And you can literally just snowboard in your T-shirt and things like that. So it’s not like training. You have an off-season where you have a break and rest your bones and your injuries though.
Lesley: I think that where I come from in snowboarding, like the more competition side, you keep fit because you have to, to stop yourself getting injured, but it doesn’t really become a chore because you’re doing it for a reason, and you love snowboarding so much that you don’t mind - you don’t mind being in as good a shape as you can, and you’re really motivated to do dry land training so that you can go and snowboard. All snowboarders are really passionate about their sport, and I think that’s quite a difference between snowboarders and other athletes who are maybe passionate about winning, and they obviously like the sport they’re in, but win or lose or whatever, we’re passionate about just going snowboarding. And that’s something really special.

Do you do any other sports like skateboarding or biking, for example?
Lesley: I mountain bike quite a lot, and I do lots of sports to keep fit. I try and do as many different sports as possible, but I don’t compete in any other sports at the moment, although I’ve just been on the re-make of BBC Superstars, which was pretty interesting - that’ll be out in the summer, so you’ll have to wait to find out how I did.

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Do you enjoy competitions or are they more of a way of pleasing your sponsors?
Lesley: To be honest, snowboard competitions are great fun. You go into the competition in the same state as you would go into any of your riding - you’re there with all your friends and you’re pushing your own personal limits and they're pushing theirs and it’s so exciting if one of your friends does something amazing at a contest and it really motivates you to try your hardest.
Jenny: The competitions have quite a relaxed feel amongst the competitors and everyone wants to do their best, but there’s not like this evil rivalry or anything. Everyone cheers each other on and has a good time and at the end of the day, if you don’t do well in that particular comp, it’s not the end of the world and you’ve got a lot of other things going on. And a lot of the comps are in a jam format, so it’s who comes across best through the whole day.
Lesley: I think it’s a really modern way of looking at competition in sport, because it’s a way of pushing the whole field to do the best that they can, and if somebody within the field is having a bad day, they still get a lot out of other people’s riding, and, for sure, the next day they might be the one that has the good day. So I think it’s a really friendly way of competing.


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