Yellowknife, NWT – A Yellowknife snowboarder with global ambitions is asking northerners to help him raise $11,000.
Andrew Matthews has two weeks left to reach his target ahead of the next event on snowboarding’s prestigious World Cup circuit, in Turkey – where he has been selected to represent Canada.
He has launched a crowdfunding website to help, and is already more than halfway there.
“The World Cup is huge in snowboarding. Events like this attract 30,000 spectators – that’s going to be a huge crowd out there,” Matthews told Moose FM.
“For me, at this point, it’s not so much the difficulty of qualifying for these events as the funding required to be able to go to them. That’s the issue I’m struggling with.
“I have to pay my whole way – all my expenses – for this trip. That makes it quite expensive for me to do, and I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. I’m looking for more support to be able to compete internationally, because that’s really where it becomes incredibly expensive.”
In return for donations, the 26-year-old is offering draw prizes and other gifts.
For example, a $750 donation on his site gets you a fishing trip with Matthews somewhere near Yellowknife. Increase that to $800 and you get an autographed snowboard.
Alternatively, $50 gets you a toque – but Matthews is grateful for any amount pledged toward his cause.
“I’m looking for support from the northern community. Basically just small amounts that add up to be able to compete at these events,” he said.
Matthews (pictured, right) is a specialist in Big Air events, which use large, man-made jumps.
He finished 23rd at the most recent World Championships, in Stoneham, Quebec.
He’s currently at an early-season training camp in Austria, but makes it back to Yellowknife occasionally – including stops each summer to run a mountain bike camp in the NWT.
“The goal is to be the best snowboarder I can possibly be,” he said.
“I’m a snowboarder from Yellowknife and I have goals that are at the very top, that being the Olympics, the X Games and World Cups.
“But it’s not just going to these events; also making podiums and finals would be a huge step for me. This season, my goal is to become more of a podium and finals contender at bigger events.”
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