Blog | Going for gold
As things heat up in Sochi and Team GB win their first ever medal on snow, future skiing star and inspirational Scout, Brodie, 14, looks ahead to the Winter Olympics 2022...
When did your passion for skiing start?
I started skiing when I was six. There was a roller skiing day at a local ski centre in Huntly, Aberdeenshire and my parents thought that maybe I’d like to give it a go – I tried it, loved it and I’ve not stopped since.
How did you get involved in the British Nordic Ski Team?
The club I’m with in Huntly has a junior development programme. This allowed me to go through a skills programme and work through differing qualification stages. I gained my purple level and was then asked if I would like to join the British Nordic Development Squad when I was 11.
Where do you train given that there’s not much snow in the UK?
I live in the north east of Scotland, and we’re lucky to have one of only two dedicated Nordic Ski centres in the UK. The centre has a synthetic purpose-built track that you can train on all year around. However, most of the year, we actually train on roller skis, which is the closest we can get to mirror snow conditions. Roller skiing can be done on any tarmac surface so we do long-distance road training as well as sprint racing throughout the UK on tracks.
When did you get involved in Scouts?
My first experience was cubs in Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire when I was eight; I then moved onto a local Scout Group in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire and then after a house move to Huntly, to be nearer the ski centre in 2012, I joined Huntly Explorer Scouts and I love it.
How has Scouting helped you?
It’s given me a whole new set of skills and experiences as well as building my confidence levels to take on new challenges. Some of these I perhaps previously would have shied away from due to lack of confidence or just simply not had access to some of these opportunities.
Who should we be looking out for in Sochi?
The British Nordic Ski Team has four athletes at the games: Andrew (Muzzy) Musgrave, Andrew Young, Callum Smith and Posy Musgrave. They all come from my club in Huntly and will be appearing in various cross-country ski races. Muzzy is the one to watch as he’s just won the Norwegian Championships, which is like Grimsby Town beating Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Are you aiming to compete in the Winter Olympics 2018?
My main target is the 2022 Winter Olympics. It sounds far off, but our coaches strongly believe in the 10,000 hours rule: you need to do 10,000 hours of training to really become an expert. It’s also a sport where you don’t really reach your peak performance until you’re 25–30 years old, so I’ve a little bit of a window to build on my performance. Before that I’m aiming for the Junior Olympics in Lillehammer in 2016.
What will the next few years consist of in terms of training?
I currently do about 600 hours a year in a planned training programme. This is a mixture of skiing, roller skiing, cycling, running and balance and technique training. As I get older my number of hours will increase and I’ll race more competitions in Europe to improve my world rankings. Four years is a long time, but racing on snow is key and I’ll be spending the next few winters in Scandinavia and central Europe I hope.
What advice would you give to other Scouts who dream of competing at the Olympics?
Go for it! You don’t have to be particularly brilliant at any particular sport to begin with; it takes time, training and dedication. But if you enjoy something and have a dream of achieving the top level, then make it a reality and join your local sports club and get involved. Be prepared for a lot of hard work though.