RGU athlete to compete in Winter Universiade

An Robert Gordon University student has been selected to represent Great Britain in the World University Winter Games in Russia this weekend.

Douglas Green, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student, is the only British Snowboard Cross athlete to be chosen to compete in the 29th Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk.

The event, which is organised by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) will see more than 3,000 students from around the world compete in a range of sports from Saturday, March 2 to Tuesday, March 12.

Douglas previously represented Great Britain in the 28th Winter Universiade which took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in 2017. He is an RGU SPORT Scholar which means he benefits from a tailored package of support services from the University, allowing him to combine his studies with the demands of training and competing in Snowboard Cross.

He said: “It is a huge honour to be selected by GBSnowsports as the sole GB snowboard athlete competing in Russia. I am incredibly proud to be able to represent not only GB but also RGU for the second time at this global event.

“Without the RGU SPORT Scholarship programme I would have been unable to take my sport to this level over the last four years. As is it a winter sport with International Ski Federation (FIS) races taking place on the mountains of Europe from January to March each year, the academic flexibility that the scholarship affords and the complete support from the School of Engineering allows me to travel to races during term time without compromising my studies.”

Douglas started snowboarding at the age of 12 on the dry slope at Aberdeen Snowsports Centre in Garthdee. Following the tragic loss of his younger brother to Cystic Fibrosis in 2012, he directed his time and energy into the sport.

“I was a young carer to Patrick and so I suddenly found myself heading into winter with a lot of time on my hands at the weekend and nothing to occupy my mind,” he said.

“I persuaded my mum to take up skiing again and we would head to Glenshee at every opportunity that season. Glenshee Ski School owner, Darren Morgan, teamed me up with a fantastic instructor, Calum Steele, with whom I’d spend whole days riding the slopes and developing my skills over varied terrain.”

Douglas competed in his first Snowboard Cross competition at the Scottish Snowboard Cross Championships in Glenshee in 2013, and he returned to the competition the following year to win the Under 16 male title.

He said: “I just love the sport and the combination of high speeds and technical features of the courses.

“Without my scholarship I would not have been able to train and compete in three successive Junior World Championships, and be heading to my second Winter Universiade for Great Britain.”

Hannah Leslie, head of Sport at RGU Sport, said: “Douglas has been a part of the RGU SPORT scholarship programme since he started at RGU. His dedication to his sport and his studies is inspirational.

“At RGU we recognise the pressures of juggling academic commitments alongside training and competing at a high level and we are very proud to support a number of extremely talented student athletes striving to reach their sporting potential whilst studying at RGU.

“We are extremely proud of Douglas for being selected for these games for the second time and we wish him the best of luck representing RGU and GB Universities on the world stage.”

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