BOLTON-born snowboard cross sensation Huw Nightingale is aiming to take the Winter Olympics by storm next month after being picked today to represent Team GB for the first time in China.

The 20-year-old left the town to move to Austria in 2007, but retains strong family links in the area.

And it is hardly surprising he has reached the pinnacle of his sport, being the cousin of Bolton gold-medal-winning paralympic cyclist Matt Rotherham, who was recently awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.

Dad Clive was chairman of Bolton Rugby Club for 13 years and also landlord of The Howcroft Inn, on Pool Street, for many years, organising the Bolton Beer Festival for a quarter of a century.

The family upped sticks and moved to Austria in 2007 - a move that has certainly aided the youngster’s sporting progress after he had already enjoyed skiing on holiday in 2005.

It was in Austria his love of snow sports really took off.

Clive said: “We lived at Lightbounds House at the top of Moss Bank Park, Smithills – Huw also did one year at Beech House (Bolton School) for one year of school before we left for Austria.

“He started skiing in 2005 on holiday and then when we got here in Austria, all his friends snowboarded so he started that.

“He took part in a few minor competitions and then at the age of 15 started to take snowboard cross more seriously.

“Under the coaching of Danny Chambers, who is also from Bolton originally and now operates coffee and cake mobile cafés on Scout Road and at Smithills Hall, Huw really took off.

“Danny was instrumental in getting Huw to Europacup level of competition and then under the coaching of GB snowsports he progressed to World Cup competitions.

“Recent good placings in Montafon (Austria) and Russia saw him qualify for the Olympics and it was announced today he has been selected - we are naturally delighted for him.”

Nightingale will be representing GB in the individual competition and team event with Charlotte Bankes – the current world champion and World Cup points leader.

He flies out on February 2, with races in the snowboard cross on the 10 and 12 – very early morning European time.

And after his first call-up, he is proud to be representing the town of his birth in Beijing.

He said: “Though it’s a long time since we left Bolton, I still have family and friends in the town.

“I am proud of my Bolton roots and pleased for my granny, who now has two Olympians in the family.”