Milton Keynes skier Kayne Stanway is confident the positive experiences of last year’s English Alpine Championships can only stand him in good stead as he prepares to return to the slopes.
The 13-year-old finished on the podium in last year’s giant slalom, narrowly missing out a second medal when finishing fourth in the combined race.
But with a move up to skiing with full gates comes a whole new challenge for the teenager.
So far it has worked out perfectly for Stanway but with the racing in Bormio, Italy, among one of the most competitive of the season, there is no time to relax just yet.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s hard and there are lots of people there so it’s going to be a big challenge,” said the Akeley Wood School student.
“I’ve competed for the past two years, last year I got third in the giant slalom and also a fourth place so it was a good year.
“I was really happy with those performances, I think it will definitely help me this year knowing I did that.
“My season has been going really well, I’ve moved up to full gates and did my first Super-G in the Evolution Championships, getting a silver and bronze in the Giant Slalom, so hopefully I can get on the podium in Bormio.
“It’s hard making the step up but fun at the same time.”
The English Alpine Championships run from February 11-16 and are organised by Snowsport England, the national governing body for snow sport in England that is responsible for growing participation in snow sports through direct funding from Sport England.
They work closely with snow centres, artificial slopes and clubs around the country, as well as managing English squads and athletes across all snow sport disciplines.
For Stanway it is competitions like this which allow him to realise his dream and fulfil his potential, having started skiing almost as early as when he could walk.
And with life on the snow still looking to work its way into the limelight of English sport, the Milton Keynes teen is content with staying under the radar for the time being.
“I started skiing when I was two years old when going on a family holiday and at about seven or eight I started to do proper races,” said Stanway, who will compete in the Super G, slalom and giant slalom in Bormio.
“I joined the Ski MK team for training and then started racing for them.
“I just enjoy the difficulty and uniqueness of it, it’s not like the usual sports that people take part in.
“I want to get into the England squad and the kids’ GB team, I’d be very happy and proud to be able to do that because there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get there.”
For this winter Olympics season Snowsport England has launched ‘PyeongChang to Piste’ (www.pyeongchangtopiste.org.uk), featuring events and taster sessions run by various clubs and slopes throughout the country along with tailored downloadable resources for schools