Well that's me out in Idre, Sweden this week in the run up to my first qualification races next weekend. The British Nordic Youth Team headed out on Sunday and we have a week of training on snow and getting to know the course before the actual races next Saturday and Sunday.
My best chance of qualification is the 1km sprint on the Saturday. I'm quite good at the high speed, high tempo races and it's in skate technique which is my favourite of the 2 cross country ski styles. Then the following day, it's a 10km skate (or freestyle) race which I'll be going out full bore to see if I can get a top result in this first meet. I've been working hard all summer to get to this stage, but it's so easy to crash out or make the slightest mistake that can cost you seconds.
I'm out here with a few of the GB youth team and we're all competing for places at the European Youth Olympics in February. We'll be up against the best of the Swedes and the Norwegians who are the top nations when it comes to cros...
It's only been a week since I launched my first crowdfunder campaign and I've just been blown away by all the kind support I've had from so many people.
I'm already up to nearly half way there towards my £1,500 target and I'm delighted and grateful for your support. If you get a chance, please share my appeal with your friends or someone you know who might be willing to donate £10, every donation counts and helps towards my Olympic pathway.
Later this month, I head off to Sweden to take part in my first races of the season in Idre. I'll be up against strong Scandinavian competition with athletes from Norway, Sweden and Finland taking part in the race weekend. It's going to be tough but I'm going to give it my best shot.
I've particular targets that I need to hit in these races or the next ones in Switzerland in December in order to qualify for selection for the European Youth Olympics in Turkey. The qualification standard is tough and I need to ensure that I try and get the resul...
What a great week that was last week. No, I'm not being ironic, it was a good week of training, That said, I basically spent a whole week in a large indoor fridge getting used to being back on snow again before the winter race season starts in just over 3 weeks time.
I'm just back from Torsby in Sweden where they have, one of only a handful in Europe, an indoor cross country ski facility which is best described as a snow tunnel. It's simply an indoor loop of about 1km which has small snow covered rises and falls in it to simulate a ski race track and its ideal for pre-season training and for testing of skis.
There was a British Nordic team of 7 of us out there plus a coach and we're all aiming for our own targets out of this coming season.
For me, my goal is to gain qualification for the European Youth Olympics in Erzurum, Turkey in February as part of the selected TeamGB squad. This means, still quite a bit of work to do between now and the close of qualification a...
Again another eventful month has gone by and I'm almost ready for the new winter season. I'm off to Sweden at the weekend for my first taste of snow since April albeit it's at an indoor facility within a tunnel. The tunnel is based in a place called Torsby and it's one of only a handful in Europe and especially built for cross country skiing - looking forward to it and I'll post up some pics on Instagram to let you see how I'm getting on.
In the meantime, I'm still coming down from a high of being with over 50 Scottish Olympic and Paralympic athletes during the homecoming celebrations in Edinburgh. It was great to meet and be inspired by so many of them and they certainly inspired me to continue on my journey on my Olympic pathway.
In the two weeks prior, I was given the opportunity to stand up on stage in front of audiences of 100+ which is something I'd never done before. I had to write and deliver a speech to an audience about the importance of sport and...
I can't believe it's over a month since my last posting, the time has just flown by.
Maybe that's the problem with school holidays, they tend to go by so fast and before you know it, your back to school. Although, this year it's my last set of school holidays as I enter my final year at The Gordon Schools.
I've been pretty much frantic over the last month or so with lots of concerts and shows that I've been helping out with on the lighting side. Anything from AC/DC tribute bands to choral societies, its been great fun but a lot of late nights.
Whilst also still keeping on top of my training, it's meant that I've struggled with energy levels in some of the sessions and the races.
This weekend saw another 2 races in the Scottish roller ski championships where I managed to get a 2nd place on Saturday but come Sunday I was dead and only managed 4th when I literally died on the last lap. There was just nothing left in the tank and I know I need to spend some time on one of the most impor...
Well, that's July now gone and the summer has just been a blur, especially the last 2 weeks.
The month started with a visit to the Scottish Parliament to meet Aileen Campbell MSP, the new Minister for Public Health and Sport in Scotland. It was our first public engagement as the new Young peoples sports panel and it was my first visit to the Parliament - we were warmly welcomed and it was great to hear firsthand from the minister just how important it is in getting young people involved in sport and the benefits it can bring not only to health but all areas of society.
Then from mid July onwards, I've been full on at training camps with the British Nordic Ski Team. These were up in the North of Scotland so easy for me to get to with the first one being in my home town of Huntly, then onto Aviemore where we had a week long summer camp with athletes from all over the UK, Europe and beyond.
What was great about this first camp was that we got to train with the senior elite ath...
Just this past weekend, I got the chance to meet up with my fellow selected panelists on the Young People's Sport Panel or YPSP as known. Over the next 2 years, we'll be meeting up and working together to give Young People in Scotland a say about what happens in sport that effects them and gets them more involved.
Last Friday, we all met up at Glenmore Lodge in Aviemore where we were tasked with a number of "getting to know you" and team building exercises - it was such a great weekend and I'm delighted to be involved with such a great group of people.
In the meantime, this Thursday sees me head down with the Panel to Holyrood to meet up with the Scottish Public Health and Sports Minister Aileen Campbell. I've not visited the Scottish Parliament building before so really looking forward to it and to officially launch the new team. Sportscotland has put together specific press releases for us all and I've attached mine below. It's my first ever official press releas...
I cant believe its been 3 weeks since my last blog, but then, its been so busy that I know I've just not had 5 minutes to sit down and throw down some thoughts onto a blog.
I suppose the best place to start is with my first step on the coaching ladder. It's something that I'm planning to do after I leave school and head onto College to do HND in Sports Coaching and Development which will hopefully lead me onto a degree course after my initial 2 years.
It's only now that I've turned 16 that I can now take part in Snowsport Scotland's coach training programme. In early June, I took a 2 day NPC L1 rollerski coaching course and thankfully passed. I'm now allowed to be a supervised coach for certain roller ski lessons. Still got a bit of work to do in terms of getting my coaching hours under my belt but as I'm now working at the Nordic Ski Centre in Huntly, I can do that quite quickly. Then it's onto level 2 in the next 12 months.
This week, I received the fantastic news that I'd been selected as one of the sixteen members to sit on the SportScotland Young People's Sports Panel.
I'm absolutely delighted to have been selected and to get there I had to go through a shortlist selection followed by interviews in Aberdeen and a second interview in Edinburgh.
There were over 300 candidates, so, for me to be selected for the final 16 is awesome.
The Sport Panel is made up of young people aged between 14-25, from across Scotland and its aim is to raise the profile of sport and give young people a greater say in the future of Scottish sport.
It's a programme led by SportScotland in partnership with Young Scot, the national youth information charity, and engages with young people on the work of SportScotland and gets them involved in some of the big decisions for sport.
I get a chance to meet up with my fellow panel members at an induction weekend up in Glenmore Lodge in Aviemore later in June whic...
Last Tuesday saw the last of my exams for this year - it's now sit back, relax and wait for the results and fingers crossed. I say, sit back and relax, well I'm not really doing that, certainly not if last weekend is anything to go by.
Firstly on Friday, I made an appearance on local television, this was in support of the White Wood Project we've up here in Huntly. It's an art based community project encouraging and commemorating peace and I've been involved with it over the past couple of years with the school.
Saturday was the first of the Scottish races in the GB roller ski series for the year. This year's was extremely tight. The result is calculated by the combined timings of 2 races on the day and points awarded for your placing. Well, I almost planted my face on tarmac on the first race and it cost me 1 or 2 seconds in that race. Whilst I made up for it in the 2nd race and managed to make up time, I ended up 1 second behind the winner. What made it worse w...