A UK ‘indoor reduced risk freesports training centre’ - the mouthful which translates to an indoor freestyle ski/snowboard/skate area, with foam landing pits and padding everywhere - like that of the Woodward Centre in Colorado, is looking more than likely. A potential positive statement could be made as soon as January.
The UK has been crying out for not just one, but many, safe recreational facilities like those at Woodward and we are all hoping that the feasibility study, being undertaken by a firm in Brighton on behalf of Woodward, will come to the same conclusion.
In an interview with Snow, ex-Olympic half-pipe competitor, and now GB Park and Pipe Team Programme Manager, Lesley McKenna said:
“We’ve been trying to get one off the ground for a couple of years. We’re hoping to we could get one within the next year or so, but nothing’s confirmed.”
Woodward’s plan would be to open a franchise here in the UK, and they have viewed properties around England and also in Wales. When we met with the US company in September they definitely sounded keen, and we see no reason why the study won’t come back as workable, so things are looking rosy.
McKenna said that there had also been separate applications to UK Sports, Sport England and the Scottish Institute for funding for a reduced risk freesports training centre.
“A centre would be so beneficial not only for developing athletic capacity, but also for harnessing the cultural side of freestyle sports too,” said McKenna. “The Woodward centre in Colorado has filming studios and music editing suites alongside the sports set up. The more kids we can get to these centres the more chance we have to talent ID them, and get them part of our team.”
To see what such a facility might look like, check out Woodward Copper Mountain in Colorado. woodwardatcopper.com