NATURAL TALENT: Coco Gallagher, 11, of Lennox Head, has done the seemingly impossible and placed eighth in the interschools national competition in snowboarding without regular access to snow fields.
NATURAL TALENT: Coco Gallagher, 11, of Lennox Head, has done the seemingly impossible and placed eighth in the interschools national competition in snowboarding without regular access to snow fields. Marc Stapelberg

'I want to be number one in two years': Snowboarder's dream

WHILE most Lennox Head kids have surfboards on their mind, 11-year-old Coco Gallagher favours a different kind of board.

She first tried snowboarding last year, but she's already becoming one of the best young snowboarders in the country, scoring eighth place at the 2019 Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships.

Snowboarder in Lennox: 11-year-old Coco Gallagher favours a different kind of board.
Snowboarder in Lennox: 11-year-old Coco Gallagher favours a different kind of board.

 

At the event, students competed for their school as part of a team or as an individual in any of seven discipline events, including racing in Alpine, Skier X, Snowboard, Moguls and Cross Country.

"I learnt last year, but I skied before that. Last year I was competing in both sports but this year I decided to just do snowboarding," Coco said.

Before the championships she scored bronze in the Regional Championships and placed 14th at NSW Interschools Snowsports.

Lennox Head Public School student Coco Gallagher, 11, of Lennox Head, has done the seemingly impossible and placed 8th in the interschools national competition in snowboarding without regular access to snow fields.
Lennox Head Public School student Coco Gallagher, 11, of Lennox Head, has done the seemingly impossible and placed 8th in the interschools national competition in snowboarding without regular access to snow fields. Marc Stapelberg

 

Coco's mum Nicky Gallagher said when she got the bronze medal she was riding an ex-rental board from an op shop.

Now she rides a 15-year-old board that once belonged to her mum.

Coco competes against other school-aged snowboarders on the Boarder Cross track - it's got camel humps, bank turns and it's "all about speed".

"(The other competitors) all have managers and coaches that come to their races and they carry three boards (for one event)," Coco said.

"Mum and Dad are my coaches."

Next year she aims to compete in Slopestyle, a course which has a variety of obstacles including rails, jumps and other terrain park features.

When she's not competing, she's in the half pipe or racing her parents and siblings down the mountain.

"At Nationals it was really scary because it was icy and a really fast turn and I thought I was going to fall the whole way. So many kids fell," Coco said.

"It was like a total whiteout. It was really hard conditions."

Coco, along with her two adventurous parents and three other siblings, including a five-year-old sister, are not scared to go fast, or to try black runs.

"I think they've always wanted to go fast, and keep up with us. This one (Coco) will do anything in her power to beat her parents," Nicky said.

"It's not something you could've even anticipated. It's a bit high in the sky kind of stuff."

In the end, Coco's main goal is to make the Olympics.

"I want to be number one in two years," she said.