Students Try Bobsledding with Their Teacher, a Former Olympian

The teachers at Northwood School always find fun things for students to do on the weekend, and when teachers get to share their passions outside the classroom, the result can be truly special. This is such a story.

Mr. Matt Roy, a physics teacher, and rocketry specialist, took several students to the Olympic bobsled track at Mr. Van Hoevenberg so they could try the sport for themselves. Mr. Roy was a member of the 1988 Olympic Bobsled team, competing in the Calgary Winter Olympic Games. Following his competitive athletic career, he was the Executive Director of the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. In other words, he is qualified to introduce students to the sport of bobsledding.

For many years now, Mr.Roy has been taking students to the bobsled track where they participate with the US Junior Bobseld training program. This program will meet about 6-8 times a year, and they will allow young people to come out and try bobsledding for the first time. Mr. Roy has found that the student who tries it one time usually wants to go again, and some of his students have even competed in regional and international races. The sport of bobsledding takes time to get very good at, but it doesn’t take a lot of time to fall in love with.

Bobsledding is a frightening sport, since sleds travel at speeds around 50 miles per hour, but the Northwood students who tried it never felt in danger. “The program is very safe,” said Mr. Roy. “We had one student cut her finger on a sled, but that’s the most serious we’ve had,” he added. Roy noted that junior bobsleds have safety features appropriate for novice sliders. “When the students are sledding, they use round runners, which are very safe since no student has tipped over one since the beginning of the program.”

What other school offers bobsledding as a weekend activity? Northwood offers programs that students wouldn’t be able to do at their normal high school. The students of Northwood should take advantage of all the opportunities that they get here, because after they graduate, they may never be able to fun things like bobsledding ever again.



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