SBX Success for Alex Rooney

A 14 year-old teenager from Letham in Angus has taken a step closer to fulfilling his dream of competing at a future Winter Olympic Games after recently being selected for the National Snowboarder Cross (SBX) team.

First introduced at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, the elimination format of ski cross (aka SX) and boardercross (aka SBX) sees up to six competitors timed as they race head-to-head down a steep course comprised of jumps, huge berms (corners) and drop-offs. With no margin for error and any physical contact resulting in disqualification, falls are frequent and races won by100ths of a second.

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Alex Rooney, a pupil at Forfar Academy is one of two Scottish teenagers who impressed judges when the first UK-based Mitsubishi Motors Ski & Snowboard Cross GBX National Trials were held over the summer at Snow Factor Braehead just west of Glasgow.  Alex, a member of Snow Factor Racing (SFR) trains every week within Scotland’s only indoor real snow-sports destination.

Alex’ selection comes just three years since taking up snowboarding and just 12 months after taking gold at the English SBX Championships. Alex, who describes his favourite aerial trick as a ‘front side 5 with a truck driver grab’, commented: “My ultimate ambition is to ride for my country at Olympic level. It felt really good to take another step in the right direction by being selected for the national SBX squad.

“My development is really helped by being able to train year-round on real snow conditions at Snow Factor as part of Snow Factor Racing.  In addition to my parents, my school has also been really supportive by allowing me to condense my schooling into 4 days and awarding me a grant.

“Angus Council is also supporting my fitness training by providing free access to its leisure facilities. I trampoline a lot to practice my aerial moves and I also skateboard.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend a couple of winter training camps with the national SBX squad this coming season. As long as I feel I’m progressing I will be happy!”

Alex has been joined on the national SBX squad by Thomas Dunn, a primary six pupil at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow. Thomas, the reigning Scottish Schools Junior Snowcross Champion is also a member of Snow Factor Racing.