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WATCH: Former Cornwall school student makes Team GB

rowan coultas

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:41pm 2nd February 2018.

A young man from Cornwall has landed a spot on Team GB for the Winter Olympics.

Snowboarder Rowan Coultas, who studied at Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance, will head to Pyeongchang in South Korea to compete next month.

The 21-year-old is the youngest member of the male snowboarding team and will be competing in the Sloepstyle compeition and the Big Air - which sees riders perform spectacular gymnastics tricks after launching off a massive ramp.

With a total lack of snow in Cornwall, however, Rowan and his family did have to move to Austria so his could take his sporting talents to the next level.

And he is now set to take on the world stage, less than a decade after his first lesson.

He carried on studying with Mounts Bay Academy via a personalised distance learning programme.

It allowed him to live and train in Austria during the winter months and return to Cornwall to live with his grandparents in the summer to complete all of his controlled assessments and GCSE examinations.

He was one of the first students to take part in the High Performance Programme, which staff say allows students to follow their sporting dreams with the support of the Academy to keep up their academic studies.

Grandfather Tony Bird said: "We will always be grateful to Mrs Davey and all the teachers who did so much to help Rowan achieve his dreams.

"It is hard enough to support a young lad from Cornwall to be able compete as a world class athlete, with all the difficulties that entails without having to worry about his education.

"Mounts Bay never pressured us to make him work harder than he was able to and were always there when we needed them."

Watch Rowan practise...

Sara Davey, academy principal, added: "It is our privilege as educators to be able to help young people to be their best.

"Rowan has always been an excellent ambassador for the school and was a pleasure to have on campus when he was in Cornwall.

"It is so difficult for young athletes to train, compete and find the money to travel the world in search of their dreams.

"We are proud to have been a small part in his success and we hope he enjoys the amazing experience the Olympics will offer."

Rowan now lives near Padstow when not training in Mayrhoffen, Austria or competing in competitions worldwide.

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