Teenager Charlotte Holmes wants to follow in the footsteps of three-time Olympian Dave Ryding, as she prepares to take to the slopes for the English Alpine Skiing Championships.
The 13-year-old honed her skills at Pendle Ski Club, the same as her hero, the alpine athlete who took a FIS World Cup silver medal home from Oslo at the start of this year.
But with her elder brother Robert also part of the British Alpine FIS squad, Charlotte doesn’t have to look too much further than home for a source of inspiration.
Now she’s hoping to transfer that to the slopes of Bormio this month for the English Championships, with Northern Italy a place to continue her ascent in British skiing.
Charlotte said: “Dave Ryding from Pendle is definitely an inspiration – that’s where I grew up and it’s nice to see someone have that success.
“But I also have my brother Robert. He is quite an inspiration – he has shown me hard work really does pay off.
“He pushes me as well. On race days it’s great to have him there helping me out.”
The siblings, from Barrowford, race for Team Evolution, which Charlotte joined earlier this year as she continues her development in the sport.
Both are set to take to the starting gate for the English Alpine Championships on February 17th, where Ryding started his career before competing in the World Cup, which is one of the biggest annual competitions in the skiing calendar.
Charlotte will be taking to the slopes in Bormio racing in the slalom, Super-G and giant slalom, with the Colne Park High School student optimistic having noticed improvements in her technique in recent months.
That has seen her rewarded with her first Great Britain call up in the last few weeks, where she will race in the FIS International Youth Races in Pokal Loka, Slovenia.
“I really enjoy the training with Team Evolution. It’s helped me improve technically and given me more experience racing on the snow,” Holmes added.
“We do a lot of video analysis and general free skiing, which really helped me improve my all-around skiing and development on the mountain.
“I’m hoping to do well in slalom and aiming for the top five in every event at the English Championships. Even possibly the podium in the slalom.
“There’s very fierce competition in my age group, in my year of birth and with newcomers in the year below rising up from the under-12s.
“It always pushes you knowing there is someone better than you and someone behind you pushing you to do better.”
l Snowsport England is the national governing body for skiing and snowboarding in England. Find out more about Snowsport England’s affiliated clubs, athletes, competitions, coaching and campaigns here: www.snowsportengland.org.uk