Full speed ahead for Harpenden teenage snowboarding coach

DOWNHILL racer Archie Guinchard has put his passion to good use by becoming one of the country’s youngest snowboard instructors.

The 16-year-old student at St George’s School in Harpenden spends his Saturdays and holidays perfecting his snowboarding skills and frequent trips to the snow dome in Milton Keynes have resulted in Archie becoming one of the youngest coaches for the British Association of Snowboard Instructors (BASI).

Archie has been skiing with his family in Austria and Switzerland since he was seven and was fascinated by snowboarding from a very early age. His dad is a ski instructor so he was following in his father’s footsteps.

To qualify as a BASI instructor, Archie had to do a tiring five-day course but he can now instruct at any indoor ski slope in Europe. He currently works at the Milton Keynes Dome at weekends but once the school holidays come round, he will be off to the Alps again.

Headmaster Norman Hoare praised Archie for his achievement. “Not many would show this devotion to a very specialist sport and Archie has worked jolly hard perfecting his skills and teaching. His equipment is expensive and Archie has earned every penny to equip himself with this new board and boots.

“We celebrate all kinds of achievement at St George’s and he is the second snowboarder of such a high standard I can remember – our first, Hamish Duncan from Kimpton, is already well known on the European circuit. I am sure the future is very bright for Archie.”