- >> New dates and venues added to our website for up and coming Grom camps.
- >> British Freeski camps are back for 2013 in a new resort and park
- The British Freeski camps are back for 2013 in a new resort and park which will be in Zermatt Switzerland. This is really exciting times as change is good and the park shapers in Zermatt are really keen to make a super special park for the camps. All the UKs top coaches will be there including Team GB head coach and Grom camp founder Pat Sharples as well as Grom camp head coach Becky Hammond. Andy Bennett, Warren Smith will also be on hand and Scottish Freeski team coach will be running the junior camp again like last year. for more info please visit www.britishfreeskicamps.com
- >> Salomon Grom camps are back starting May 2013.
- Were very pleased to announce that the Salomon Grom camps are back starting May 2013. You can reserve your place right here at the UK no1 Freeski camps.
- >> Sochi - Russia - Olympic test event
- So im finally on my way back to the UK and currently in Moscow airport. Its been a great experience in Sochi for the Olympic test event this week but I have left with lots of mixed feelings if im honest! Obviously we were gutted when we heard the slopestyle was cancelled and we had to change all our plans at the last minute for a lot of our athletes, but it was great that the Halfpipe World cup still went a head and I couldn't be happier for our very own Murray Buchan who got his first top 20 of the winter (18th) which puts him firmly on track for qualifying for Sochi 2014. He fully deserves it as he's worked so hard for as long as I can remember and all that hard work is now paying off. The grils, Rowan Cheshire and Em Lonsdale were unlucky, specially Rowan who had been skiing so well in training with a super tech run. Unfortunately she couldn't land it on the comp day but im still more than positive moving forward and feel when she puts down one of the runs we know she can do she's going to be up there with the best!
So I have to say, the mountain Rosa Khutor in Sochi is incredible! It was such an amazing surprise how good the skiing was here with so much backcountry and the snow was awesome too. I really like how all the venues are going to be so close together for the Olympics as I feel it will add to the atmosphere and it will be easy to get around for athletes and spectators. The town is far from finished but i guess they still have just under a year to get it finished before the big event. At the moment there are only hotels in the town and you struggle to even find a shop to buy a bottle of water. I have found Russia its self a very different place to what I was expecting but if im totally honest I don't know what I was expecting. Lets just say that most of the Russians I met could do with some smiling lessons or something as not many of them looked happy one bit! This didn't bring us down though as it was great to hangout with all the other international teams and athletes, coaches who brought an incredible atmosphere to Sochi and I just know the Olympics in 2014 is going to be the ultimate experience for everyone attending or involved.
Thanks for reading.
- >> BRITISH FREESKI SUCCESS & THE FUTURE
- Well this is the first time I feel I have managed to get a spare 10 minutes to finally put down a blog and let you know what has been going on. Im currently sat at the airport in Moscow Russia waiting for a flight to Sochi for the Olympic test event which im pretty excited about all though gutted at the same time as the Slopestyle has been cancelled due to a lack of snow. But great that we get to do the pipe comp and its going to be great experience getting to know my way around Sochi before the Olympics next year.
So I left Switzerland Silvaplana early this morning as we have been there for a Slopestyle world cup which im sure you have already heard about as we got some awesome results. Woodsy placed in the top 10 which means he keeps his no1 world ranking and our Katie Summerhayes took 2nd place in her first event since her injury last year so we couldn't be more happy for her and it really does prove hard work pays off as I don't know anyone who has worked harder than her to overcome her injury! Talking of good results, what a year Woodsy is having, 2 world cup wins at the Olympic qualifying events and a 3rd place at X Games in Aspen. I feel truly lucky to have been able to travel and experience all this with him as his friend and coach. The whole British Freeski team are putting their heart and sole into what were doing at the moment and as a coach I couldn't be prouder or ask for anything more. Woodsy and Katie aren't the only other athletes who have been getting great results. Paddy Graham is now on the World cup circuit for Slopestyle and getting some awesome results and Murray Buchan recently got a top 30 in the Park city Grand prix in Halfpipe. Out Halfpipe girls are also been consistent with Rowan Cheshire making the finals in the Nor-am in Copper Mt USA in December and Em Lonsdale getting 2 top 20s in the last 2 World cups. However, its not all been smooth sailing! We have had are fair share of injury's over the last year and unfortunately injury comes with this sport and every athlete has to deal with some sort of injury in their career at some point. But we now have a really good injury rehabilitation program in the UK to help get our athletes back as fast and as well as possible and this has been set up though our world class program and the British ski & snowboard federation. James Machon is one of our athletes currently going through this after his knee injury in October. Before that though he got an incredible top 20 at the World cup in New Zealand so his road to Sochi is looking promising. So after Sochi this week we also have many other mayor events coming up including the World championships and Euro X Games in Tignes France. That is defiantly one of my favourite events as France feels like home for me and its always good to be on home turf! We also have the last World cup of the winter in March in Seirra Nevada in Spain and this is going to be super important for many of my athletes to get these Olympic points and good solid results to help them qualify for Sochi in 2014. The other big event im looking forward to is this years Brits which will also be held in France. This is where we see all our top up and coming kids and the future riders of our sport develop and it gives them a chance to prove themselves. Talking of the future of our sport and the up and coming youth, we will soon be back with the Salomon Grom camps which I know have been massively missed by so many of you. We made the decision to give the camps a rest until the end of April as myself and the other coaches have been so busy and focussed with all the competitions and training but we couldn't be more excited to get them kick started again and we have plans to make them bigger and better and will be agin touring around the the UK with the camps. We promise to put the new dates and venues up very soon.
So I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been supporting my team and athletes over this crazy exciting year! The support has been truly over whelming and means so much to my athletes and me! The passion for British Freeskiing and just general British snowsports is just incredible and we have also been getting some awesome press thanks to the likes of the BBC and others.
Thanks for reading
Pat Sharples - British Freeski team head coach & manager - Salomon Freeski TM - Oakley UK TM.
- >> BRITISH FREESKI SUCCESS & THE FUTURE
- Well this is the first time I feel I have managed to get a spare 10 minutes to finally put down a blog and let you know what has been going on. Im currently sat at the airport in Moscow Rus
- >> The Grom camps head to Dorset for the first ever camp at SNOWTRAX.
- Were heading to Snowtrax for the very first time to run a Grom camp on their super exciting new freestyle arena. Some of the UKs top pro's including Becky Hammond, Andy Bennett, Dave Young will be there to coach all levels of freestyler's including skiers trying Freestyle for the first time to Pro level! We have lots of prizes to handout including special overall prizes for the most improved of the camp. There will also be a relaxed fun jam session at the end of the camp for everyone wanting to be involved!
There is already a great local Freestyle scene at Snowtrax which is helped by the legendary Schmidt family and it has to be guaranteed that there will be an amazing atmosphere at this event.
Not to be missed and you can now reserve your place through this website.
- >> Inspired by the London Olympics and Team GB
- So this is the first Blog on here in a long time which I feel really bad about. Not going to role off lots of excuses apart from the fact that I have really struggled to find a spare minute in the day over the last few months. But anyway, I thought I would start writing them on all my flights I seem to be going on as its the perfect time to think over things and keep you updated on whats been going on.
So im sure you have all been inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and Team GB just as much as I have over the last few weeks! How incredible was it it all! Im so so pleased as I feel our country needed that positivity and the organisers of London 2012 exceeded all expectations and made it the best Olympics in the history of the Games. But I am specially over the moon how well our Team GB athletes performed in front of home crowds and all the hard work that the athletes and the BOA put in paid off! I was lucky enough to get invited to the Olympics for a few days with Woodsy and Katie Summerhayes and we had an amazing time. We went to see the diving qualification event, visited the Olympic village and athletes canteen which was incredible. I also went on many coaching conferences and met some of the worlds most respected coaches and athletes including Jessica Ennis and her coaches Tony and Mike. I have to say, the whole experience really inspired us and it just wants me to work harder leading our athletes up to Sochi 2014.
So im currently in New Zealand with our British Freeski team athletes as we have the first World cup halfpipe and Olympic qualifier event of the year in a couple of days. All the guys are killing it and getting super excited for the start of the competition season. Im cutting my stay in NZ short as im heading to Argentina with Woodsy for his first WC event of the year in a couple of weeks so lots of travelling and jet lag ahead which im sort of getting used to. My good friend Becky Hammond is now over seeing the Salomon Grom camps and I still make sure I attend all the camps when im back in the UK and its so amazing to see how popular they still are after all these years and even more so exciting to see all the incredible new young talent coming along! I have just found out that it sounds like there will be a VERY SPECIAL GUEST arranging the Grom camp at Tamworth this week so I would try and make sure to be there if you can!
So we will keep you updated on how our British team get on this week. Here in NZ with me is James Machon, Murray Buchan, Rob Taylor and Rowan Cheshire as well as Paddy Graham who is training slopestyle while he's here. Be sure to wish the guys best of luck!
Thanks for reading
- >> BREAKING NEWS - Grom of the camp
- BREAKING NEWS - The Grom coaches and staff have decided to make a new award which will be handed out at every camp this year. It will be called the Grom of the camp and this will be awarded to the camper who has impressed all the coaches on the day with their work ethic, ability, improvement, dedication! The grom of the camp will be given a goodie bag with products from Salomon, Oakley, Skullcandy, Baw bags and more. The first one will be awarded at Tamworth on the 8th May.
- >> Don't forget to reserve your place at the Snowdome Tamworth camp on the 8th May.
- Don't forget to reserve your place at the Snowdome Tamworth camp on the 8th May.
. This will be the first camp of 2012 so its going to be very special. See you there!
- >> NEW GROM CAMP POSTERS FOR TAMWORTH SNOWDOME
- >> GROM CAMPS RETURN ON THE 8TH MAY AT TAMWORTH SNOWDOME
- GROM CAMPS RETURN ON THE 8TH MAY AT TAMWORTH SNOWDOME
RESERVE your place NOW.
- >> The Future of the Salomon Grom camps.
- As most people may know, I haw recently taken on the new role and job as British Freeski team head coach and team manager. I was massively honoured to be asked to do this job and after a lot of big talks with Vanessa (my wife) we decided we could make it work and felt I could give the job my best shot. Its really strange starting a job where you or not taking over from anyone but instead building everything up from scratch and trying to make something from nothing. So far so good but we still have along way to go but I feel we are on the right track and we have some amazing people working with us at the British ski and Snowboard Fed, family and friends and of course the athletes who are putting their hearts and souls into training and working towards the future. Plus the support of sponsors who without them we wouldn't be able to do what were doing.
So a lot of people ask me if Im still working for Salomon and what are the plans for the future of the salmon Grom camps! The answer is YES, im still working for Salomon UK as their Freeski team manager and as the community manager which im super proud of! Working for Salomon and setting up the Freeski team is a big reason why I got offered the job as head coach for the GB team and I have learnt so much from doing this job and I can still see myself doing this for many many years.
Now with regards to the Salomon Grom camps. Looking back at when we first started the camps, its incredible to see how far they have come and what talent we have had come through this along the way. This has made me realise how important the camps are for the future of our sport in the UK and the perfect place to spot new talent and help guide skiers through their careers. This week myself and the GB athletes are having a big meeting to go through ideas of making the Grom camps even bigger and better and not just for future athletes, but also for getting more people involved in our sport and to try to make sure that anyone who attends the camps goes away inspired and having the best time!
We have already started adding new Grom camp dates & venues to the website and we will be adding many more. One big change we will be making is we will be starting 2 different types of camps. We will have the regular Salomon Grom camps for all ages and standards of skiers wanting to do freestyle skiing and we will also have the new Salomon pro Grom camps which will be for skiers of a certain level including pro athletes. We will have some of the best UKs pro's coaching on the camps as always which include Woodsy, Joe Tomlison (Tomo) Andy Bennett, Rob Taylor, Josh Birch and many more. Becky Hammond who has been working on the camps for many years will also be taking on a new big role in over seeing many of the camps and we don't think we could have a better person to do this job!
So please keep checking our website and be sure to reserve your places on up and coming camps for 2012. As always, we will have some incredible prizes from all the sponsors including Salomon, Oakley, Skullcandy, Planks clothing, Fall-line, Baw Bags, Snow & Rock.
- >> Hard graft continues - GB team training
- So we have had a awesome week of solid training with the team and we couldn't be more stoked on how well are athletes are getting on. We have a super busy month a head filled with training and 2 major comps at the end of February which includes the Aspen Open and the Grand prix in Mammoth California. Woodsy also have the last stop of the Dew tour next week in Killington which he has been working super hard for. Today we have a bad weather day so were going to the Woodward freestyle centre to work on some new tricks before taking them to the park. They have awesome trampolines and jumps into foam pits.
Last night we had a team dinner which was super fun and great to have everyone together for some chill out time.
Thanks for reading.
- >> Fall-line magazine - Grom feature
- Fall-line magazine - Grom feature - Stoked!
- >> What it takes!
- So just work up this morning to see that its started snowing hard in Breckenridge which is good as you can never have too much snow but sort of puts a dint into training on the mountain today. But got to say, I could not be more stoked on how hard are GB athletes are training over here. Yesterday was a fine example of what are athletes do on a regular basis. We get up around 7am so we can be on the mountain for around 9am and get straight into it. At the moment im coaching are halfpipe and slopestyle athletes and luckily I have found a great area where I can base myself so I can see the pipe and the slopestyle course on Freeway so its easy to see the athletes and give feedback and film. Murray Buchan, Pete Speight, Becky Hammond, Rob Taylor and snowbaorder Dom Harrington were all working super hard in the pipe and Woodsy, Andy M, Tomo were hitting the slope course in Freeway. There's pretty much some of the biggest name pro's here in Breck training at the moment with their coaches and support team and there is a great atmosphere amongst everyone I feel. Everyone is super focused and all working on different things. It probably sounds like the perfect life and that the athletes are having the time of their lives which in away they are but at the end of the day they are working towards their goals 101% and this takes a lot of dedication. What I don't think many people know is that at the end of the days training they will come back, get changed and go to the gym for a couple of hours and this is without me making them do it or trying to convince them that they have to do it, they just do it! I have found myself saying this a lot recently but to make it up with the worlds best, its not only about been a talented skier who skis hard on the mountain all day and learns new tricks. Thats only about 50% of it. The other 50% is full on hard graft in the gym, strength and conditioning, keeping yourself healthy with a good diet and been totally dedicated and focused. Are sport has changed so much over the last 10 years and when I first got in to it, everyone was way more relaxed and not bothered about keeping yourself in shape as much as we should. But with the way the sport has gone now, and the tricks that the guys are doing at the highest level, you really do have to be the ultimate athlete too otherwise you will not make it! Its really crazy to say but it true and thats why Im super proud of my athletes, they are working super hard as athletes off the mountain as well as on.
Thanks for reading.
- >> GB team Training - Breckenridge
- So training here in Breckenridge has been full on for the last few days. It was super busy over the weekend but things have calmed down loads now but pretty much all the big name pro's are here training too as I think Breckenridge really does have the best pipe and jumps in the world right now. Poor boyz productions are also filming here which is cool to see and are GB athletes have been working super hard in training, like really hard! We've had a few crashes and little injury's and one big injury which I will let you know more about later on but I can say there going to be 100% fine and im picking them up from the hospital this afternoon. Got some amazing video today but don't have time to edit anything just yet but maybe soon. We have been training pipe as well as slope today which worked really well. Thanks for reading.
- >> Salomon sponsor the GB Freeski team with Jackets
- Were very excited to announce that Salomon have sponsored the GB Freeski team with new team jackets. Most of are athletes have their own personal clothing sponsors which they will use for competitions but we also wanted a team jacket for when were events such as the World champs and other FIS events. We can also add the logos of sponsors who are supporting the team which included the Ferguson family and Berkeley Group.
- >> Back to base in Breckenridge with team GB and new Skis
- So im finally back to the US after the Youth Olympics and I went straight to X Games in Aspen to meet Woodsy who was on the reserve list to compete in the Slopestyle. Yes thats right, a reserve. After picking up 3rd place at Euro X Games and all his other awesome results he still couldn't get in which was devastating for him as this is his dream and we were both pretty heartbroken specially as he was skiing incredible in training on the X slopestyle course and I really do believe he could have been up there with the top few but instead we had to watch the event from the bottom. I massively respect the X Games organisers and they know what there doing but just so up setting for Woodsy. So after the finals of the slope and the incredible tribute to Sarah Burke we headed back to Breckenridge and have started getting back in training mode with team gB athletes, Paddy Graham joined us for a couple of days and I was so stoked to see him back in the park and totally killing it! Other athletes here with me are Murray Buchan, Joe Tomo Tomlinosn, Pete Speight, Andy Matthew, Becky Hammond, James Webb, Rob Taylor, Josh Ingram and Britain's no1 snowboarder Jenny Jones has moved in with us for a while so full house here in Breck. Im trying to divide my time between Halfpipe and slopestyle training as im the only Freeski coach at the moment but im hoping very much to have an assistant soon. Im really proud of all the gB athletes as everyone is really focussed and always have that get up and go in them. they train hard on the mountain and then head to the gym most days. They don't go out partying and drinking like most people who spend winters away and their main goal is to improve and work on their own performance. Im really proud to be working with such dedicated athletes. Whats also been nice is that salmon have hooked me up with what I think are the best skis I have ever used in my life and thats saying something because I have used a lot of skis and often get to put m,u own input into some of the new Salomon skis. The new skis I have are called Rocker 2 which you may have seen or even have. But the ones I have are the new improved and different Rocker 2s which will be realised in 2013 and they make me super excited to put them on each morning even if I do bed up standing at the top of a slopestyle course or halfpipe. So things are all running pretty good. The only thing that is really hard is not seeing Vanessa (my wife) enough which im finding super hard. She has been the most supportive person in my career and life and I would not be doing what im doing now if it wasn't for her! As many of you will know, were expecting a little Sharples in April so she's having to deal with her pregnancy without me at the moment which makes me feel like the worst person in the world. So think I will leave it there for now. Thanks for reading.
- >> Youth Olympics - Katie & Tyler.
- So we got back last week from the first ever Youth winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck which was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives! We went out there with Team GB lead by my mentor Mr Sir Clive Woodward and the rest of the crew who couldn't have looked after us any better. I was not only coaching Katie Summerhayes and Tyler Harding but also snowbaorder Lewis Courtier Jones who I have known since he was 4 years old in Courchevel France when I used to live there. All our athletes performed amazing and we achieved our goals. There was a lot of pressure on my athletes to do well i thought, specially Katie and I had to keep explaining how Halfpipe is not her main discipline as she is a slopestyle skier and so is Tyler so we had to work extra hard over the 6 months to prepare them for this event and in the end Tyler placed 10th overall and Katie came 5th both making it into the finals. Lewis also made finals which was awesome! Katie was also picked to be the GB flag bearer and BBCs Blue Peter and BBC sport featured all the action. Its really opened my eyes and I feel I will be much more prepared leading up to the winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. We have a lot of work a head and im up for the challenge.
I have to say a huge thanks to everyone for all your support you gave me and my athletes over the 2 weeks a the youth Olympics on Facebook and Twitter.