From unable to walk to snowboard champ: Meet Manchester’s ‘golden nugget’ Tomski Robinson – just 12

Exclusive by Josh Nicholls

There are shades of diving phenomenon Tom Daley in Manchester’s Tomski Robinson, who continued his rise at the weekend by becoming a British snowboarding champion at the tender age of 12.

Daley was two years Tomski’s junior when he became the youngest national under-18 champion before he went on to compete at his first Olympics aged 14 in Beijing 2008.

Having coped with the death of his father from cancer, four years later Daley won a bronze medal at the London Games to add to his world championship title from 2009, which made him the youngest ever British world champion in any sport.

Tomski has a way to go to emulate Daley’s achievements but he’s made a good start.

The youngster won gold medals in the under-15 boardercross and under-12 freestyle at the Scottish Mountain Freestyle Championships last March and is set to compete at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Norway.

Now the British boardercross champion, he dreams of one day becoming an Olympic medallist.

“I love the freedom (of snowboarding), there’s always something new to learn and it’s just really fun,” Tomski, given the nickname by his mother Felix (his real name is Thomas) after he initially tried skiing before snowboarding, told MM ahead of competing at Manchester’s Chill Factore on Saturday.

Tomski’s talent at such a young age is as incredible as his rise to British snowboarding champion.

The youngster, who attends Wellacre High School in Flixton, suffered from a condition called Excessive Femoral Anteversion which causes displacement of the hip bones, so much so that aged eight he struggled to walk properly without falling over.

Hoping that snowboarding would improve Tomski’s movement and strengthen his legs, Felix booked him in for a course of lessons in 2009. Needless to say he had a knack for it.

Despite his extraordinary talent Tomski is a polite boy who is confident without being cocky, although he did confess he’s often the envy of his friends.

“They were a bit jealous,” he said with a smile, when recalling his friends’ reaction after his exploits in Scotland last March.

Fast forward to September and Tomski was in dominant form at the British Snowboard X Championships event over the weekend, winning the fast and furious Olympic discipline boardercross, where competitors race against each other in a series of heats until the top three are decided.

Sochi 2014 may be too soon for Tomski so watch this space for PyeongChang 2018, which is shaping up to be the greatest chapter in the young snowboarder’s whirlwind story.

Fast becoming an internet phenomenon, Tomski already has over 600 twitter followers and a Youtube channel. The latter shows spectacular footage of the daredevil performing 720 rotations during his training in Austria earlier this year as well as back-flips on dry-slopes in 2012.

“It’s quite scary but when you land it (the jump) it feels really good,” he said.

Tomski is part of the Northern Freestyle Scheme at the Chill Factore co-ordinated by mother Felix that teaches freestyle skiing and snowboarding to all ages, abilities and disciplines.

Felix is as passionate about her role at Northern Freestyle as she is proud of her son and she dedicates her time to helping more youngsters experience the joy Tomski has found on the slopes.

“Every kid who walks in to the Chill Factore has got a chance of getting somewhere, all you need is drive and passion,” Felix told MM.

“Every so often you get a golden nugget like Tomski and we’ve got quite a few here now.”

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.

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