Bereft of a mountain to train on, a Yellowknife teenager has converted his front yard into a snowboard park ahead of the Arctic Winter Games.
Ben McGregor, 16, is one of two snowboarders selected to represent Team NWT at the Games in Nuuk, Greenland, next month.
Yellowknife’s Bristol Pit, now newly equipped with a tow rope, is one option for training – but McGregor has decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I have a little setup in my front yard that I go to a lot during the week,” he told Moose FM as he picked up his uniform for the Arctic Winter Games.
“I stack up pallets for speed and then I set up a box or rail to hit for practice, to get some fundamentals down.
“I have six pallets and then a wooden board on it that I cover with snow, to get speed. That’s really all it takes. It’s like hitting the features that you would for a rail jam in slopestyle.”
Otherwise, McGregor says, it’s “just your average lawn”.
The Northwest Territories has produced top-quality snowboarders such as Andrew Matthews and Molly Milligan, both of whom reached world tour level.
However, the nearest resorts are many hundreds of kilometres away. That can leave young athletes at a disadvantage in tournaments like the Arctic Winter Games.
“It’s a little bit nerve-racking because the other teams have resorts that they practice at and coaches for most of the season,” said McGregor, who took up the sport four years ago after watching the X Games on TV.
“I’ll see how it goes, since it’s my first Games. I just want to do my best and beat some personal records, really.”
100.1 The Moose and My Yellowknife Now are your number one destination for breaking news from Team NWT during the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. Stay tuned for updates from March 6-12.