Lee Watson's Summer

On The Slopes

This is Lee’s summer in a nutshell. And I’m completely jealous. He has just returned to Worcester after competing in the Australian Continental Cup circuit for Freestyle skiing. It is a prestigious event down under with many international athletes participating in preparation for the forthcoming Olympics. Such as his training partner, Adrian Costa, Australia’s number 1 mogul skier, who knows too well that results will be used for national team selection.

I’m in awe as he describes the course: 225 m of huge moguls on a 30 degree slope with two big jumps included. He smiles as he remembers waiting at the starting gate for his first ever run. ‘The adrenaline rush was incredible’ he says. ‘It made Red Bull seem like a sedative!’

A far cry from years ago, snowploughing down the slopes of Austria on his first ski trip with his school, Bishop Perowne. He reminisces back to 1989 and the teachers forever singing what became the tour anthem, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ in response to the group spending more time with their heads buried in the snow than gliding across the top of it.

It was through Ski Astons that Lee pursued his devotion for the sport. The company are specialists in school skiing tours and run a trainee ski instructor sheme for sixth formers and teachers alike.

‘They were of great help to me’ recounts Lee. ‘I had the opportunity to develop my coaching skills before gaining my Ski Tutor/Guide qualification, which was partly subsidised by the company as well. I worked as an instructor for them during my University holiday, and made life long friendships in the process’

After gaining his degree he packed his bags and spent two seasons working in Austria’s Scheffau Ski School. His pursuit of excellence led him on to Whistler, Canada, the mountain playground for some of the world’s best. Here he was awarded Rookie of the Year by the ski school in which he worked and consequently received sponsorship to return for anther season.

Inspired by the words of his childhood hero, Extreme Skiing guru Glen Plake, Lee turned his attention to the freestyle discipline, the Mogul field. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of former Canadian racer Bob Callidine, and American Extreme professional Chris Lennon, Lee raised his skiing to competition level. As a member of freestyle team ‘Dingo Mogiul’ Lee now plans to head for Zermatt as part of his training for the European mogul circuit. His sights are set on securing a place in the British Freestyle Team. We wish him all the best!