SKIING: LEAMINGTON SPA skiing ace Oliver Weeks insists consistency is the foundation of what he hopes can be a successful season, starting with the upcoming English Alpine Ski Championships.
Weeks will be among 350 of the best English Alpine skiers to descend on Bormio, Italy from 11th – 17th February 2017 for the 21st English Alpine Championships, organised by national governing body Snowsport England.
And with this being the tenth anniversary of the Championships being held in Bormio, the 15-year-old is determined to make his mark.
But before that comes some ideal preparation for the Championships for Weeks, competing in an FIS International Under-16s race in Slovenia.
And while he is clearly impressing enough to be racing with the elite, Weeks believes he still has work to do to get to his very best, eyeing up Bormio has the place to make that happen when he competes in the Slalom and Giant Slalom disciplines.
“Last year I didn’t do too badly, I was very consistent and did well in almost every run, I only made a couple of mistakes so there is still room for improvement,” he said.
“I’ve been training very hard over Christmas, I’ve got two second-placed finishes and a third in the recent Ambition races so I think I’m in a good position heading to Bormio.
“This year is all about consistency for me, making sure I complete my races and finish as high as possible, and from there I’ll get the results that I want.”
The English Alpine Championships are a week of national-level racing and skiing camaraderie, featuring the best English skiers in the country, ranging from Under 10s up to senior athletes.
The event continues to feature the rising stars of Alpine skiing in England, previously acting as a platform for the likes of Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding, who finished second in the alpine World Cup slalom in Kitzbuhel in January – Britain’s best result in 35 years.
But in Bormio, Weeks is able to enjoy what feels like a second home, normally competing for Dragons and Midland Ski Club.
And rather than just be content with what has gone before, the teenager is looking to push on to the next step, confident the conditions can match his capabilities.
“Bormio is one of my favourite events, the snow is very grippy but still very hard so they are pistes that I love riding on. Even on a hot day it’s hard and makes it very good for racing,” he added.
“It really allows me to show what I can do, I’m usually a dry-slope skier so I’m quite good on flats which is what Bormio has in its slalom.
“Apart from one year, all my best results in a season have come in Bormio and I seem to race well there which gives you a lot of confidence, and I feel I can push myself even further.
“In the year where it didn’t go so well I finished one out of seven runs, but I came back the next year and improved a lot so that was a massive boost.”
Follow the English Alpine Championships on the Snowsport England Facebook page and get live updates on Twitter @SnowsportEng. Full results will be available at www.snowsportengland.org.uk while you can find your nearest slope offering value-for-money GO SKI GO BOARD sessions at www.goskigoboard.org.uk