Burlington, Vermont—Burton Snowboards has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the National Snowboard Team of China, a division of the Chinese Ski Association. The exclusive head-to-toe sponsorship agreement includes all snowboarding equipment, outerwear, R.E.D. protective wear and ANON goggles.

The National Snowboard Team of China consists of six men and six women, each handpicked because of their athletic ability. On-snow training has just begun for these athletes. Trainer, Ben Wainwright of Glacier Snowboard Camp, also trainer for the Japanese National Team, says “Although the athletes are relatively new to snowboarding, they are the best athletes I have ever trained between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. After eight months on snow, one girl is already doing McTwists. The team will be contenders for the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, but the real focal point is the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Heavy training is under way to prepare the team for the 2007 Winter Asian Games in China.

“China has some of the best athletes and the best mountains in the world, says Jake Burton, Chairman and Founder of Burton Snowboards. “To be contributing to this recipe for snowboarding success is an honor. I can’t wait to see these riders develop.”

“Snowboarding’s expansion into China presents a huge opportunity in the sport’s overall growth, says Bryan Johnston, VP of Global Marketing for Burton Snowboards. “We’re extremely pleased to have the chance to work with the National Snowboard Team of China. Their enthusiasm for the sport and existing athletic ability will be a great addition to the Burton Team.

The National Snowboard Team of China consists of:

Wancheng Shi, Heilongjiang
Wei He, Shenyang
Ling Yue, Shenyang
Xiaoye Zeng, Shenyang
Guanwen Chen, Heilongjiang
Yiwei Zhang, Haerbin
Xinyue Zhang, Shenyang
Zhifeng Sun, Shenyang
Jiayu Liu, Haerbin
Lei Pan, Heilongjiang
Xu Chen, Heilongjiang
Xiaoxiao Lu, Shenyang