More High Fives Blogs
- Volleyball - bump... set... SPIKE!
- Bobsledding - The Extreme Toboggan
- Diving, Take the Plunge!
- Walking - Start Your Own Walking Club
- Fencing, en garde!
- Sports: Curling
- Competitive Swimming
- Rugby...for girls?
January 2008 Blogs
- Real Girl - Isabella
- Global Warming and Our Planet
- What Did They Say?
- BROTHERS: why do some bully?
- Teen Stuff - Ultimate New Yeary's Party
- Zzzzzzzzzz... good night = good morning
- Boys! - Top 10
- Tuareg: The Blue People
- Cathy's Book, by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart
- Deciding Your Career
- Goddess of the Month - SOL
SPORTS, January 2008, by Jenifer Merifield
Mary Binsted absolutely LOVES snowboarding. After years of winning competitions she is now coaching others.
About Mary: Mary started snowboarding when she was 16. She had just fulfilled her then life goal of becoming a ski instructor, when snowboards started showing up. “It just seemed so much more interesting to me, with the ability to go frontwards and backwards, the people doing it and the freestyle leanings.” After a year of borrowing her aunt’s Sorel boots and “stealing” her brother’s board to head for the hills, she finally bought her own board and pretty much gave up skiing. “I just couldn’t get enough of snowboarding” she recalls. Mary won her first competition the following winter. Over the next couple of seasons she entered more competitions and became a certified instructor. That’s how she became part of the Ontario snowboarding community, and how she progressed with her skills and got introduced to sponsors. She joined the Adrenalin Sports All Girls Snowboard Team out of Newmarket, ON, and continued to compete, earning Provincial medals and traveling with a close-knit group of women building her repertoire of tricks and racing techniques. “Soon I was being invited to the National Championships and traveling across the country to events.”
Eventually, she hit a plateau by not having a coach (there weren’t really any back then) and not having an organized sports structure to get the support she needed to progress. So she shifted gears from competitor to organizer, and now coaches other girls as they achieve their snowboarding dreams. “Winning medals is fun and exciting, but watching a rider you’ve helped attain their goals is one of the best feelings in the world.”
Brief History: Snowboarding has been around since the late ‘70’s. It slowly gained popularity through the 80’s and early ‘90’s as it was accepted on regular ski hills. It contributed greatly to the evolution of ski technology and has changed the face of sport by bridging the gap between ‘extreme’ sport and ‘legitimate’ sport with acceptance into the Olympics. Ski resorts now cater to snowboarders, where less then 15 years ago they were banning them!
Commitment level: It’s up to you. Some girls have rigorous training schedules, others just head out a couple times a year for fun.
Starting age: Girls start as young as 8, and Mary has even taught women in their 60’s.
Physical Requirements: “Take a lesson!” encourages Mary. As with any sport, a basic level of fitness plus determination, drive and perseverance really helps. Contact your local provincial or territorial snowboarding associations for further info on adaptive snowboarding programs for girls with disabilities.
Equipment: A snowboard with metal edges, bindings, snowboard boots, waterproof jacket/pants, gloves, a hat, goggles and a helmet are everything you’ll need.
Jargon/slang: ‘Regular or goofy footed’. A goofy rider stands right foot forward, while a regular rider stands left foot forward. Snow-boarders don’t ‘board’, they ride.
‘She’ros and Heros: Mary’s snowboarding “super” heros are Terje Haakonsen, and Natasha Zurek. Both riders rose to the top of the competitive scene over a decade ago, and continue to remain active in the sport, while being internationally known and respected.
Parents thinK: Snowboarding is a safe and fun way to be active. Many parents try it themselves and soon find their skis collecting dust in the garage.