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Tignes Spirit team rider and GB Park and Pipe Academy member Andy Budge is ready for what this season will bring...
We checked in with this charismatic 16 year old snowboarder to see how the GB Park and Pipe pathway has affected his progression as a rider...


The GB Park and Pipe pathway has helped hugely in my progression as a rider. I had been snowboarding at the Aberdeen Snowsports Centre for four years before I joined the the GB Park and Pipe academy in summer of 2014. I found snowboarding was a great way to make friends with other like-minded people, even though I didn't know anyone who went to the snowsports centre before I started going.

I am now super lucky to snowboard with a number of kids my age that are very good so it keeps everybody aiming high. We learn from each other and encourage each other to progress.

I find that I improve the most when I'm enjoying my riding and have support/encouragement  from my contemporaries. Aberdeen Snowsports Centre has also provided me with great facilities and access to excellent coaching.

I consider myself to be a very competitive person and have competed for windsurfing and rugby in the past. I still compete in windsurfing in the summer, and feel that this compliments my snowboarding.

The application process for GB Park and Pipe involved submitting a short video, after which some riders were selected to a testing and trial weekend. I was very apprehensive and nervous about the trial but was extremely happy when I was able to ride well and was selected into the Academy.

I believe my progressions have come from concentrating more on technical improvements and looking at the foundations of a trick rather than just having a go and scraping through. I have constantly looked at all elements of my riding to improve and create a platform for future goals.

I would say that the Olympics haven't had a huge impact on how I feel about British sport. The summer Olympics in Rio proved that we are a strong and successful nation and have belief that as time goes on Britain will become a great competitor in slopestyle skiing and snowboarding.

I feel that the GB Park and Pipe program is key for developing talent from across the country. It provides a goal for many young people and, once they have been accepted in to the Academy, it helps to nurture their talent. I firmly believe it will increase the number of riders who are successful at world-class level.

Andy wears Airblaster outerwear and rides Endeavor snowboards. The full range from both brands can be purchased (and rented) from the Tignes Spirit store in Tignes le Lavachet and our new online store! Follow Andy on Instagram.