UEA Student Wins National Competition!

Mary Leishman, a first year undergraduate student at UEA has won a national competition making her the highest ranked female university competitor for Big-Air Snowboarding in the UK.

Mary, 19, is studying Business Management and recently represented UEA through the Union’s Snowsports Club, at the BUDS Dryslope Championships in Edinburgh. The annual event is made up of various competitions for both skiers and snowboarders, and holds the record as the world’s biggest Dryslope event, seeing well over 1000 entrants over the two days.

The Big-Air Competition sees competitors battle it out over a day, as to who can land the most stylish and technical aerial manoeuvre off a large jump. After making it to the finals, competitors then have two runs (the best one counting) to impress the judges. Mary, a late entry, after returning from taking a fellow team-mate to A&E, was able to enter the competition and made it through to the finals, where she and six other finalists battled it out for first place.

Mary explained; “It was a challenging two runs as I had little practice and the change in weather conditions had caused the slope to run much faster than I expected, but I didn’t mind as I was just so excited to be in the finals!”

The competition was close and Mary didn’t land her first run, but on the second landed a large yet smooth Backside 360, which won her the title. Since learning to snowboard at Norfolk Snowsports Club five years ago, she has regularly trained, and also instructed others. “Snowboarding is such an exhilarating sport, it’s a very social sport too which why I love it so much! Norfolk Snowsports Club is a great place to learn as well as its run by volunteers, which makes it really friendly but also really affordable”.

Mary is really passionate about sharing her sport with others and is organising a ski and snowboard festival at the Club next year. She hopes that her win at national level will help promote the sport she loves to others in Norfolk. The festival, Farmers Jam will take place in September 2014 and will be a camping weekend packed full of music, parties, skiing and snowboarding.

NEWS from the Union of UEA Students Mary said; “I’m very excited with my victory up in Scotland earlier this month and I must thank our great local ski and snowboard hardware shop, Snowfit Revolutionz, for all their support they have given me over the years. I’m really excited about the chance to push freestyle in our local area! The sport doesn’t get much publicity, but Norfolk is a great area to ride, our Dryslope is one of the best in the country; and with riders such as Olympic potential Kyle Wise originating from the area, it’s a fantastic place to learn! If you live locally there’s no reason not to give it a try!”

If you are interested in learning to ski or snowboard, lessons are available at Norfolk Snowsports Club. Alternatively the world’s only rotating ski slope will be visiting outside the forum in December with ISKI, where lessons will also be available for both sports. For more information about Farmers Jam Festival you can check the event out on Facebook. And for more information on local Olympic hope Kyle Wise, and how you can help him make it to the games, look him up at kylewise.co.uk.

For more information please contact Rosie Rawle, Communications Officer, 01603 592504, union.communications@uea.ac.uk

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