After the excitement of the recent London Ski & Snowboard Show, we can’t wait for the season to begin! We recently spoke to alpine athlete Jack Gower, and now it’s time to meet another young sportsman, Matt McCormick, who is taking the snowboarding world by storm.
Matt is part of the GB Park and Pipe Snowboard Squad at British Ski & Snowboard (BSS). The 19-year-old from Bearsden, Glasgow, shared with us how he got into the sport, what he has in store for the coming months, and what he likes to do when he visits London…
Tell us how you got into snowboarding?
It started when I was about nine with my older brother. When I was younger I started skiing with my younger brother, my sister and my dad, but my older brother was old enough to snowboard. When I was that age I just wanted to do anything he did so as soon I was old enough to get one of the snowboards at Bearsden Ski Club, I did that! The Club was only 10 minutes from my house so we could go up most days of the week. It was pretty amazing actually.
Is anyone else in your family into the sport?
Yeah my older brother still does it. He moved to Canada last year with his girlfriend, so he’s been out there doing a season. My little brother still does it and is on the junior section of the team so he’s working his way up, trying to get on to the senior team. My dad also still skis, he does Moguls.
What would you say is the most challenging aspects of the sport?
Financially it’s quite difficult, it’s definitely not a cheap sport. Managing to scrape together enough money to get to go to all these great places with your friends isn’t that easy. As fun as it is, it’s also kind of scary sometimes. But the best bit, which I always find quite sobering, is when you’ve done something you’re scared of. That’s the best thing in the world; before you do the trick, you’re petrified as you don’t know what’s going to happen. But my favourite part is doing the tricks, so it’s a love-hate thing.
Do you get nervous before you enter a championship and how do you deal with that?
Compared to the other guys I get quite nervous. So, I don’t know, I just try to do the same thing all the time, have a little bit of a pattern. I don’t wear lucky clothes or anything, I just wear the same things and try to chill; just ride the same way I always do. I don’t try to do anything special or out of the ordinary because I’ll be practicing all the tricks I want to do in the contest and I don’t want to throw some other weird one in at the last minute.
What have you got your sights on next?
This year, for me, will be the first year I can do the world cups, which will be the qualifiers for the Olympics. It’s exciting for me! I’m kind of in the fourth spot; there’s Billy, Rowan and Jamie [fellow athletes] who are the main three for the Olympics and then I’ve just snuck in to be allowed to do the qualifiers! Then there’s a slim chance that I’ll be going into the Olympics, but at the moment I’m just focused on the world cups this season and will see how they go.
Do you have a favourite thing about London?
Yeah, I like the Pokémon! It’s so good, especially in London because there’s loads of Pokémon here as it’s a busy city. A lot of us on the team love to play Pokémon so we’ve been really excited to come here so we could play.
Delancey are proud to be a sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard (BSS), which is the National Governing Body for Skiing and Snowboarding in the UK. They provide incredible opportunities for athletes to achieve their full potential in the sport – both as individuals, and as a team. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we meet more young members of BSS.