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British universities & Colleges Sport

Kyle Wise looks ahead to the Winter Universiade 13/11/2013

Kyle Wise, one of four Great Britain athletes competing in Snowboard Cross in Trentino 2013, speaks to BUCS ahead of his second World University Winter Games.

Kyle Wise TrentinoKyle Wise, one of four Great Britain athletes competing in Snowboard Cross in Trentino 2013, says the event will be the highlight of his year and feels hugely privileged to be able to represent and give his all for his country.

This is the second World University Winter Games for Wise, who originates from Norfolk and has recently graduated in Planning and Property Development from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

He describes his experience of Erzurum 2011 – where he finished in a creditable 29th place in only his second FIS (International Ski Federation) level Snowboard Cross race – as ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’, prompting him to dream of making it to the Winter Olympic Games in future.

Wise has progressed a great deal in the last two years, becoming the English, British Indoor and British Universities champion in the discipline, and his aspirations have risen too: ‘I’m aiming for a top 10 finish, which would push up my ranking for future competitions’.

Along with the experience of 2011, Wise now has three seasons spent with James Foster, GBR’s Snowboard Cross Head Coach in Trentino, under his belt. Training with the British Snowboard Cross squad in Morzine, France, has developed his all-round riding ability as well as engendering a real sense of team spirit.

He also pays credit to the ‘huge help’ he has received from Heriot-Watt, saying ‘I wouldn’t be where I am now without their support.’

That support has been in terms of financial assistance, allowing him flexibility in his course, including part-time studying in his final year, and providing him with gym and strength and conditioning facilities which he describes as ‘the best I’ve been in’.

It is no surprise, then, that Heriot-Watt won the tender for Scotland’s National Performance Centre for Sport, a £30 million development project due to be completed in 2016. Wise says that it is recognition for the University’s success in giving support to all their athletes, and he is ‘proud to be a part of it.’

His connection to Heriot-Watt is a strong one. He was Snowsports Club President while at the University, always seeking to make the club more inclusive and attractive for beginners, an ethos captured by the club’s Duncan Murray Award.

Being in charge of the club, Wise says, was like running a small business, and it has developed his own creative and entrepreneurial mind. He has suffered setbacks in terms of funding, but his determination shines through when he is faced by a new challenge. 

If one thing this is for certain, it’s that Wise is up for the challenge of meeting his ambitions, both on and off the course.

Follow Kyle’s progress at the Games on twitter @KyleWise1 and through his website.
Interview by Team GBR media officer Richard Browne 

Team GBR Snowboard Cross squad for Trentino 2013
Thomas Bankes - Open University
Jennifer Osborne - University of Strathclyde
Giorgia Rescigno - Cardiff Metropolitan University
Kyle Wise - Heriot-Watt University
James Foster - Head Coach/Team Leader

About the Winter Universiade
The 2013 World University Winter Games will take place in Trentino, Italy, from 11 to 21 December. This 26th edition of the Winter Games features 13 different events in six alpine venue clusters. Great Britain will compete in Curling, Ice Hockey, Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboard Cross.

For more news and information on the Games please click here, and follow BUCS on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

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