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Case Study: Jamie Barrow’s Athlete Mentor Visit at the ISSC

Article posted on: February 11, 2020

In December, as part of our partnership with Youth Sport Trust (YST), we invited Britain’s fastest snowboarder, Jamie Barrow, to Halsbury Ski’s annual school snowsports competition – the Independent Schools Ski Championships.

As one of YST’s Athlete Mentors, Jamie delivered inspiring presentations and even joined some of our racers on the slopes.

As you may know, as sponsors of YST, we’re currently running a special offer where any group who book a Halsbury Sport tour before 30th April will receive a visit from an Elite Athlete Mentor. These visits usually cost £415 so this is a fantastic incentive to get your next sports tour booked now!

YST’s Athlete Mentor scheme aims to ‘tackle declining emotional wellbeing and resilience in youth people and attitudes to learning’. Jamie’s talk definitely achieved this objective. Children, teachers and Halsbury reps alike all left Jamie’s presentations feeling inspired by his story of resilience.

Here’s a summary of what we learned about Jamie’s journey as an athlete, and why we believe arranging a visit from an athlete like Jamie should be on every PE teacher’s agenda.

Jamie finally found his niche in snowboarding

Being dyslexic, Jamie struggled throughout school. On family ski holidays, he felt overshadowed by his older brother who was a stronger skier.

However, at the age of eight, Jamie tried snowboarding. He instantly fell in love.

 

Originally, snowboarding was just something he enjoyed but, after attending a summer camp in Switzerland, he was amazed to find out he’d been selected for the British junior freestyle team.

Jamie’s career as a competitive snowboarder didn’t progress as he’d hoped

After a few seasons of limited success, Jamie began to doubt himself. He worried that snowboarding wasn’t his “thing” after all.

At 15, he switched to boarder cross and instantly fell in love with the speed! Thanks to his hard work, he was eventually selected for the British snowboard cross team.

Injuries plagued Jamie’s career

Several very serious accidents resulted in injuries to Jamie’s neck and back.

After a fall in 2013, doctors told Jamie his back injury was so severe that he’d never compete again.

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time. Jamie was preparing for selection for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Heartbreakingly, the injury meant he was forced to drop out of the British team.

Jamie found a new purpose 

While Jamie accepted that he’d never snowboard competitively again, he wasn’t willing to hang up his snowboarding boots.

Whilst dedicating himself to recovery, Jamie also looked for a new way to combine his love of speed and snowboarding.

In 2013, just months after his crash, Jamie broke the British snowboard speed record, reaching a speed of 94.2mph!

Since then, Britain’s fastest snowboarder has continued to push his own boundaries.

Jamie now holds records for the fastest indoor speed and the fastest speed towed behind a vehicle (for which he beat his own record in 2018).

He has also documented himself being towed along behind an aeroplane and being propelled across a frozen lake by two jet engines!

An inspiring message

Whilst some of Jamie’s adventures must be accompanied by a “Do Not Try This at Home” disclaimer, Jamie’s story is heartening and his message is a valuable one.

At the end of his presentation, Jamie concluded by encouraging the ISSC competitors to focus on finding their own passion. Once they’ve found what they love, Jamie’s advice is to work hard, believe in yourself and have fun. What PE teacher wouldn’t agree with that?

We’ll leave you with Jamie’s words:

“I may not be able to achieve my goal of going to the Olympics, however, the Olympics is all about pushing yourself and your sport in some way. I still feel like I have achieved that – and I'm not even finished yet. My goal now is to keep pushing my limits further and to go faster than anyone has ever been on a snowboard. My aim is to enjoy myself snowboarding despite my injury and work on projects that I am passionate about that push me and others to do the same.”

Help your students find their niche

You can find out more about our Athlete Mentor Visit offer here.

If you’d like to inspire the next generation of athletes with a sports tour, get in touch.

Already know where you want to go? Fill out an enquiry form today.

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