Minety RFC winger Dave Cooke will swap his rugby boots and the Minety rugby pitch for spikes and the Olympic Bobsleigh and Skeleton run at Whistler Mountain on the west coast of Canada.

The 24-year-old graduate from Malmesbury first tried the Skeleton at the University of Bath, the centre for the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Team, in 2017 and was hooked on the sport.

He travelled to Whistler, about a two hour drive north of Vancouver on the western sea board, this week to join 15 other intrepid Skeleton racers for a three day course on what is claimed to be the fastest ice run in the world.

Cooke began the course on Tuesday and he was excited ahead of his trip to Canada.

“It’s going to be a challenge but I’m really looking forward to it,” said Cooke.

“The course I’ve joined breaks down into instruction sessions in a classroom and then time on the Olympic run. We’ll start off quite close to the end of the course, at around turn 13, and gradually make our way up towards the top, possibly as high as curve six.”

The Whistler track, which was recently used by Britain’s Bronze medallist, Laura Deas from Chippenham, features 16 bends as it winds down 1450 metres of the side of the mountain, with top racers reaching speeds in excess of 90mph as the ice drops over 150 metres, with their chins millimetres from the ice.

Success on this course will allow the Minety winger the opportunity to try out European tracks next year.