October 2019: Skiers are seventh best in country

Our school skiers raced their way to a place in the British Final in Stoke, despite taking on students years their senior.

Our team earned the place in the two day National Championships, held at Norwich Dry Ski Slopes, after winning the ESSKiA (English Schools Ski Association) competition on the dry slope at Pendle Ski Club.

The team of Oliver Harwood, Matthew Marriott, Jonathan Calvert and Adam Griffin, ranges in age from 15 to 13, but they were put against much older and more experienced skiers in the U19s category.

Youngest team member, Oliver, has skiing in his blood as both his dad Simon and aunt Katy used to race and they jointly own a chalet in the Alps, where the family enjoy Christmas and some ski time.

Oliver is a member of 2K Performance ski club that trains at The Hill – Home of Ski Rossendale, under coach Karen Driver, who is also one of our peripatetic music teachers.

Oliver said: “We didn’t know why we had been put in a category against the U19s skiers and the first day it was really hard.

“It was a new slope to us but some of the skiers we were up against would know it as their local.

“The first course was really technical and on the second day they set out a really fast course.”

Each team member made two runs and the three best overall times were used to determine the final places.

Out of around 200 skiers who took to the slopes, the boys’ team were seventh in the country and as the top 10 teams get to go through to the British Final, they will now compete in Stoke on November 17.

Also, at the competition in Norwich, Oliver spotted Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott, Britain’s most successful ever skier.

He said: “Chemmy used to race with my Aunt Katy. She was properly lovely, very down to earth and she remembered my aunt.

“She watched a lot of the runs on the Saturday and she was analysing how the skiers had done. I was listening to what she had to say to get some tips. My dad also tells me what to do and how to approach the course.

“We hope that in the British Finals we are able to compete in the U16s category and then we can just go for it.”