Teenage bobsleigher has Olympic ambitions

Kristian Sharp, 17, from Brigstock, is a member of Britain's future stars bobsleigh squad
Kristian Sharp, 17, from Brigstock, is a member of Britain's future stars bobsleigh squad

A teenager from Brigstock could one day be a Winter Olympic star after attending a special bobsleigh training camp earlier this month.

Kristian Sharp, 17, took part in a variety of tests, including sprints and standing long jumps, at a session at Bath University before he was selected to go to Igls in Austria.

Kristian Sharp, 17, from Brigstock, in a bobsleigh while on a training run in Austria in January 2014

Kristian Sharp, 17, from Brigstock, in a bobsleigh while on a training run in Austria in January 2014

There he took part in an “ice camp” run by British Bobsleigh’s Futures programme, trying out different positions inside the bobsleigh.

“I managed six drives without crashing,” said Kristian, a Lower Sixth student at Millfield School in Somerset. “It was a really good experience.

“We were going from the diamond start, which is five corners below the actual start. From top to bottom is about 54 seconds. It’s exhilarating, although the first time it is a bit scary.

“There’s a 180-degree corner and when you go around it you can feel the Gs pushing you. It was probably the best experience of my life.”

Kristian – who used to be a swimmer and then moved into athletics and who says his school have played a big part in helping with strength and conditioning training – said his first goal was to get to the British Championships in March, then the World Youth Championships and even a future Winter Olympics.

The games, which take place every four years, begin in Sochi, Russia, this week.

Kristian is funded by SportsAid, a charity which provides financial support to Britain’s next generation of aspiring sports stars, and which paid for the ice camp.

Previous athletes SportsAid has helped include Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Kelly Holmes and Bradley Wiggins.

But he still needs sponsorship in order to fund his bid for March’s British Championships.

To sponsor Kristian, call SportsAid on 020 7273 1977. Alternatively, contact British Bobsleigh by emailing piers.martin@gbrbobsleigh.co.uk.