Year 7 student Mark Dodgson, is a team GB star in the making. Mark however does not take part in the summer version of the Olympics but is a star of the slopes and he has ambitions of representing his country at the Winter Olympics.
The talented Bordercross star has just been selected for Team GB in the under 12 age group. Training once a week at Chill Factor(e) in Manchester alongside team GB star Danny Chambers and coach Si Hunter Nicholson, who are helping Mark to hone his skills that he has been developing for the past 4 years. Mark started skiing from a young age but a chance encounter on holiday 4 years ago ended with Mark being signposted towards Bordercross.
Boardercross is a snowboard competition in which four to six snowboarders race down a course. Boardercross courses are typically quite narrow and include cambered turns, various types of jumps, berms, rollers, drops, steep and flat sections designed to challenge the riders' ability to stay in control while maintaining maximum speed. Competition format is typically a time trial followed by a knock-out tournament. The sport, like many winter sports is a high risk event and requires the athletes to be able to maintain their balance at great speeds.
Mark spoke of his honour at being chosen to represent team GB, saying, “I am delighted to have been selected and I hope one day to go to the Winter Olympics. If I can win a medal that would be great but my aim is to try to reach a competition and then see how I can perform.” Mark also spoke highly of his coach Danny Chambers saying it is great to work with one of his heroes.
Mark’s father, Christopher Dodgson, said of his sons’ achievements, “Since Mark saw the winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, he has wanted to represent his country in Boardercross.
He has shown dedication to the sport over the past 18 months; this was reflected when he was spotted on the Zoe Gillings I.D camp; and was accepted onto the Home Nations Squad.
We are proud of his progress to date, and look forward to seeing what he can achieve in the future.”
Head of Year 7 at Albany Academy, Miss Birchall, said, “It’s very exciting to think that a current Year 7 here at Albany could be representing Great Britain in future Olympic games.”