Help Bourne Grammar School pupil realise his cool ambition

Youth Winter Olympic hopeful Sam Thornburn
Youth Winter Olympic hopeful Sam Thornburn
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A TEENAGER has set his sights on becoming the best in an unusual sport for Bourne - bobsleigh.

Sam Thornburn is pushing for a place on the Great Britain bobsleigh team and needs your help to get there.

He is hoping to compete for the GB bobsleigh team in the 2012 Youth Winter Olympic Games

The 17-year-old was watching the film Cool Runnings, loosely based on the story of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games Jamaican bobsleigh team, when he joked to friends that Lincolnshire should have its own team.

But after Bourne-based Graham Richardson, former GB sledder and coach of the Dutch national team visited his school, Sam decided to give the sport a go.

The Bourne Grammar School sixthformer is now pushing for a place on the GB youth team for the 2012 games in Innsbruck, Austria.

And he needs sponsorship to help with his training and travel costs.

Sam, of North Road, Bourne, said: “Bobsleigh seemed like a high adrenalin action sport that would be a lot of fun and a unique experience.

“After Graham came into school I saw there was a spot on the gifted and talented trial for the GB youth team so I went along.

“I got put through for further trials and got to go to Austria to have a go on a real course.”

Sam, who also plays rugby, took to the ice quickly and was soon showing real talent.

He added: “There are eight left in the trial programme and five boys in the run for a two-man team.

“Another guy and I are the two quickest in the team and have broken the British junior push start record.

“In the three months before the Olympics we will be going out to three different tracks for qualifying races.

“Eight teams qualify for the games and if I am in the team I will give it my best to try and qualify.”

Sam recently received a donation of £500 towards training and transport from the Bourne Round Table, but needs more support if he is to fulfil his dream of reaching the Olympics.

He said: “I have to go to Bath once a month to practice on the push start track. My dad has been very supportive, taking time off work to drive me to training, but money is really hard to come by.

“There is a lot of training and the supplements they recommend are £40 a tub, which you get through in three weeks.

“I’m desperate for more funds so any sponsorship would be brilliant.”

After progressing so quickly, Sam was asked to join the senior team in the USA but was studying for his AS-Level exams and could not afford to take time off school.

But now his exams have finished he is looking to push on and make the team for the 2012 games.

He added: “I’m feeling pretty positive, I’m trying really hard to get on the team.

“It’s something I really want to do.

If you would like to support Sam in his training, call him on 07525 465832.