Altis Sponsored 18 year old Paraglider Pilot wins Romanian National Championship
by Ian Stuart, Altis UK
Antonio Burian, aged just 18, has just won the Romanian National Championship and, at the same time, qualified for the Paragliding World Cup. He is on his way to China as I type to take part in that! This is his greatest accomplishment to date having previously:
• broken the cross country flight site record at his home site in Kent
• won the Dover and Folkestone Club’s Cross Country League
• gained 32nd spot at his first British Championships
• gained 2nd place in the Leisure class and 13th overall at the Gin Wide Open at Krusevo
• flown in the second round of the British Championships at St Andre, finishing 4th in his class
Antonio was born in Romania and moved to the UK (to join his accomplished paragliding father) in 2012. At that time Antonio was too young to start paragliding but his keen interest (gained from watching and flying as a passenger with his father) meant that he took up the sport as soon as he was able. He started flying when he was 14 and got his license just before turning 15. By the time he was 16 years of age he was showing tremendous promise and at 17 he was already setting new records such as taking the cross country record at his local site amidst pilots with 30 years experience and three times his age!
I met Antonio and his family soon after they arrived in the UK and I was immediately struck by their friendliness and sense of fun. As I got to know them better I also found that they were humble, polite, hard working and generous. Antonio has been coached by his father and he is one of a few talented youngsters that are taking the sport to new levels. As a weekend paraglider myself, with almost 10 years experience, he inspires me!
Antonio started university last September and has a part time job to help fund his sport. The cost of his equipment, travel and training far exceeds his means and his family have done their very best to support him and continue to do so. However he continues to require extra financial support – even the top prize money in paragliding competitions would not pay his way.
When I heard from our CEO (John Hoffman) that Altis was on the lookout for up and coming sports stars to sponsor I knew that Antonio fitted the bill. I am delighted that we chose him as our first sponsee and we wish him continued success.
“The money that I receive from Altis helps me a lot in covering some travelling expenses whether that will be accommodation costs, flight costs or the entry fee. My goal is to do well in this upcoming World Cup and then go to the Superfinal where hopefully I’ll perform well.”
– Antonio Burian