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Home arrow News arrow General arrow Lone furrow for Snowboard Rev
Lone furrow for Snowboard Rev
Wednesday, 28 April 2004
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A city vicar has swopped his traditional parish for the world's snow-capped peaks after taking on the title of Reverend Snowboard!

The Rev Neil Elliot (pictured), Anglican chaplain at the University of Central England, has gained inspiration from his academic posting to take up a doctorate.

But high-brow subjects such as advanced maths or social sciences are not for him - he is taking his PhD in snowboarding.

Mr Elliot, aged 40, has just returned from a threemonth trip to Canada where he has been gathering research for his studies.

He said: "It's not about the techniques of snowboarding, more why people do it and what they get out of it.

"It's more about the spirituality of snowboarding in lots of different ways, such as feeling closer to God and being in a beautiful setting. There's also an element of the risk you are taking."

Mr Elliot, who spends his time at UCE's campuses at Gosta Green, Perry Barr, and the technology innovation centre at Millennium Point, took up snowboarding about seven or eight years ago.

"It's such a wonderful thing to do, to be up there in the mountains."

He said he decided to turn his past-time into a serious academic subject when he heard other snowboarders describe it as "soul-riding".

The sociology department at UCE is supervising his research, which is also being part-funded by the Church of England.

The project involves interviewing snowboarders across the UK and beyond.

By Tony Collins, Evening Mail



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