Burns Lake student Elise Dube during her snowboarding practice.

Burns Lake student prepares to train in Europe

Burns Lake student will train alongside the Canadian National Snowboarding team in Austria.

Burns Lake student Elise Dube will have the opportunity to train alongside top snowboarding athletes from around the world during a training camp in Europe.

The camp will be held in Pitztal, an alpine valley located in Tyrol, Austria, from Nov. 14 to Dec. 3, 2014.

Dube will have the opportunity to meet the Canadian National Snowboarding team, as well as the Australian and Austrian teams during the camp. The camp provides an opportunity for world-class athletes to network. This will be the first time Dube will meet members of the Canadian National Snowboarding team.

“I will be able to train with them [the national team] and ask them what life is like for them,” she said.

Although there will still be no snow on the ground, athletes will be doing rock climbing and yoga, working out at the gym, playing soccer and volleyball, and other activities intended for physical enhancement. Dube said she recognizes the importance of being physically fit when snowboarding.

“In snowboarding, you need a lot of leg strength,” she said.

Dube and 11 other athletes from the B.C. Snowboarding team will fly to Austria alongside coach Chris Nakonechny and assistant coach Meghan Hebert The talented teenager first started skiing when she was two years old. Her family owns a ski cabin in Smithers and her parents – who are both coaches – have always encouraged their children to pursue sports.

“We pushed our children to try as many different sports as they could, but skiing and snowboarding were a passion,” said Dube’s mother Patti. “It’s what they grew up doing.”

When Elise was nine years old, she was introduced to snowboarding. She practiced both skiing and snowboarding for about two years, but later decided snowboarding was her strong suit.

During her high school years, snowboarding became more than just a passion as she starting competing in provincial championships. She won gold at the B.C. School Sports (BCSS) High School Provincial Championship for two years in a row.

The Grade 12 student earned a position in the B.C. Snowboarding team in May 2014. Since then, Dube has balanced a busy schedule of school chores as well as various training camps.

“She misses a lot of school because she does a lot of sports,” said her mother. “And that’s her big struggle this year, to manage training while having good grades.”

One of the training camps Elise attended this year was in Chile, South America. She was there with the B.C. Snowboarding team in August 2014 for two and a half weeks. Elise said being accepted for the B.C. Snowboarding team was both an honour and a huge commitment.

“I was very excited, but at first I was unsure because I knew it would be a lot of money,” she said.

Dube receives no assistance in funding for any of her trips.

“We spent a lot of money so far and she hasn’t even started competing,” said Patti.

Even with the assistance of three sponsors – Rayz Board Shop, Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club and Beyond Fit Fitness Studio – her mother said money is still tight to cover all travel and equipment expenses.

In order to ensure Elise continues pursuing her dreams, the Dube’s have set up a bank account at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Burns Lake specifically for donations.

If anyone is interested in contributing to Elise’s snowboarding career, simply deposit money in her name directly at the bank.