Sochi success boosts winter sports

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GB snowboarder Jenny Jones shows off her Sochi bronze medal © Jenny Jones/Instagram

GB snowboarder Jenny Jones shows off her Sochi bronze medal © Jenny Jones/Instagram

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Games seem to have kick-started a new passion for winter sports locally.

After Jenny Jones became the first ever British Olympic Snowboard medallist, winning bronze in Ladies Snowboard Slopestyle Finals, ski centres across the region have seen an enormous boom of interest.

John Doyle from Runcorn Dry Ski Slope told JMU Journalism: “Since [Jones won bronze] we have already had ten times more enquiries over snowboarding lessons.”

Runcorn has one of Merseyside’s few ski slopes and Mr Doyle believes the Sochi factor is good for business. He said: “The Winter Olympics is always great advertising for snow sports and we usually always see an increase in numbers during and after the games.

“But this is by far the most interest we have ever got for snowboarding. In fact, I’ve just got another email through now.”

The success of snowboarder Jenny Jones is sure to inspire a new generation of future Olympians, and opportunities exist to get involved at Liverpool John Moores University .

LJMU’s Ski and Snowboard Team (JUSST) is said to be the universities largest society with over 550 members. The society has only been running since 2012, but has high hopes to help students continue training so that they might reach Olympic standards one day.

Aimee Jones, a member since 2012, said: “When you feel part of a team as a skier it pushes you on to better your abilities. I want to be the best.”

She told JMU Journalism: “It would be great if Liverpool had a representative in the next Olympics and if JUSST helped to make this happen then absolutely awesome.”

Jenny Jones, the only Olympic medallist so far for Team GB at Sochi 2014, said: “I really hope that having everyone back in the UK watching, we’ve inspired some of the younger generations to stick a snowboard on their feet and have a go. It’s a great sport.”

If you would like to find out more about snow sports in Merseyside, you can check out Runcorn Ski Slope, or The Oval Ski Slope on the Wirral. If you fancy something a little less extreme, there is always Silver Blades ice rink in Widnes.

About Gemma Brezinski, JMU Journalism