While most personal trainers will be spending January helping their clients stick to their New Year’s Resolutions, Martin Sharp will be taking on a different kind of challenge.
The York-based fitness coach and business consultant will be taking part in an international snow sculpture competition with Justin Scott, a tree surgeon and gardener from Driffield. The pair will be creating a snow boat called Unsinkable 2, which has been designed by Justin, an experienced and trained sculptor.
Shapes in White, the 29th international snow sculpture competition, takes place in Silvretta Arena in Ischgl, Austria, from January 8 to 14. It sees artists and sculptors from all over the world turning the piles of snow into masterpieces – some as big as 10 metres high.
Martin, who runs the fitness and lifestyle coaching business Sharp Fit For Life, said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge – it’s a great way to start a new year. I started competing with Justin back in 2016 when his original team mate had to pull out at the last minute.
“I’m not particularly artistic so, at first, I was really just there to shovel snow. Over the years, Justin has taught me a lot about snow sculpture and I’m looking forward to helping make his latest design a reality.”
Earlier this year, the pair, who first met at Leeds Canoe Club back in 2002, came fourth in the competition. They created a huge snow sculpture of Eddie the Eagle, which was the same size as a double decker bus.
The new design will be a sailing boat gliding through the snow in the mountains to fit in with the competition theme of future mobility and climate.
Once their creation is complete, Justin and Martin will go on to compete in another snow sculpture competition in Swedish Lapland, 140km north of the Arctic Circle. It will be the first time the pair will take part in the Kiruna International Snow Sculpture Competition and they will be recreating an abstract bronze sculpture of the human form by Justin using snow.
Martin added: “We are really excited to be competing in Sweden for the first time. It is a major competition and the snow there is excellent quality so it should be a great experience.”
The Swedish competition is part of the Kiruna Snow Festival, which takes place from January 25 to 29 and includes a range of other winter activities, including dog sledding, figure skating and the snow blower world championship.