The O’NEILL Boardzone Rookie Camp 2014 is taking place at the Qiaobo Ice & Snow World. The indoor resort is located on the outskirts of Beijing, Shunyi district, and boasts two slopes and a nicely built and groomed terrain park. Named after female Olympian Ye Qiaobo, the building complex features a hotel, restaurants and a Spa.
Qiaobo plays host to the O’NEILL Boardzone Rookie Camp already for the third consecutive time.
The brainchild of Beijing resident Mark Mi, a native Inner Mongolian who dedicates his life to board sports, represents the only consistent training program for young riders in China.
Mi says he started the camp just after entering the industry in his current role as sales manager for a leading distribution company. While out and about in the resorts and making friends, he realized that many people simply don’t have easy access to resorts. “I found there were a lot of young people who loved snowboarding and were obsessed with the sport. But some of them come from remote areas, and they have no real chance to progress. The camp is perfect for those who have a passion for learning, training and also like to compete.”
The pioneer of Snowboarding in China, Wang Lei, who is spearheading CSbA and leading the camp as head instructor, is stoked that the program brings such a positive resonance with parents and kids: “Every year we get more applications, and the riding level of the kids is already good when they enter our month long camp. I love to work with kids, it’s a very rewarding job that I get to do here in Qiaobo.”
The median age of a rider in China is in his twenties, and it already dropped in the last few years. What it takes to get kids on boards, is a trustworthy program, good coaches and a sense of safety. Mi elaborates on the potential, kids around 8-12 years have: “Since 2012 we also work with very small kids. The potential of some of the groms has garnered a lot of attention and brand support. I believe more and more hopefuls will emerge and improve the overall level of youth riding. It will play a big role in the development of snowboarding in China. It’s a great way of promoting snowboarding, too.”
His vision is to turn the camp into the source of new Chinese talents, and continuing to work on making it the most professional and influential training opportunity of the country.
Supported by the most progressive and successful brands in the Chinese market, and led by qualified instructors, the kids are given a fun and safe environment to progress their skills.
The month long program includes weekly contests and a 2* WST event at the end. The big final, the “NEW STAR CHALLENGE” will be held on August 10 2014.
Take a look online, and watch out for the weekly recap videos: http://camp.boardzone.cn
Check out what happened in 2013: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzM0NTQ1NTM2.html