A talented 13-year-old skier has been selected to compete for the under 14s Team GB squad.
Haslingden High School year 9 student, Patrick Wilkinson, has been skiing since he was three when he was taken to the Chill Factore in Trafford.
Patrick, from Rawtenstall, now splits his time between living in Rossendale and skiing in Austria with Team Evolution.
He said: “The Chill Factore was very pricey and a distance to drive, so I moved to Ski Rossendale [now The Hill] and began lessons.
“My granddad John Wilkinson used to be in the ski team when he was in the
RAF and it was my mum Hannah that got me into the sport.
“I just got better and when I was about eight, I started racing on the dry slopes and I found I was pretty good at it.
“I used to be at 2K Ski Club and when I got better, I joined Rossendale Race Club. Then two years ago I started at the British Ski Academy at Pila in Italy.
“I am now in my second year with Team Evolution in Austria near Saltzburg and I spend half of my time there and the rest in Rawtenstall.”
Even though he is skiing every day in Austria, Patrick completes his school work and has three hours of tuition a day.
He represented Team GB for the first time last week at international races in Andorra. He was third after his first race, but unfortunately crashed on his second run so was not placed.
Patrick said: “It was a good experience though, and I am next competing in
Bormio, Italy in the English Championships; then I will be spending my half-term week in Austria training.
“There are U21s down to U10s at Team Evolution. I enjoy skiing because it is fun and I enjoy the adrenaline you get from going down a slope.
“To ski in the Olympics would be my goal.”
Manager of The Hill, home of Ski Rossendale, Dave Fuller said: “We are absolu
tely delighted for Patrick and it is great to see someone who has come through Ski Rossendale from the Saturday morning club through to the race clubs and now he is a member of the Great Britain in the ski squad.
“It just goes to show the opportunities that children who learn their skills here can have. From Rossendale to the world. We wish him all the very best.”
Catherine Smyth Media