Having won the regional qualifying event in Southampton St Mary’s Independent School’s Ski Team, made up of Hannah Groves (Year 8), Nicole Groves (Year 6) and Laura Harrison-Smith (Year 6) travelled to the Norfolk Snowspnorts Club in Norwich to take part in the National Finals. This is the 4th year in a row that a St Mary’s has qualified for the finals, with a variety of skiers taking part over the years.
The race took place in somewhat autumnal conditions; cold with a strong, gusty wind blowing drizzle and sometimes rain up the slope. The team were up against the odds having two U12 skiers in a team which was competing in the U14 group. Also, only having 3 competitors meant they had no room for any disqualifications. Unperturbed by these challenging conditions the team showed great spirit, resilience and maturity. All of them put in two confident, smooth and consistent runs on a fast course, ensuring that they did not get any disqualifications. Despite competing against larger schools with more skiers and in some instances a dedicated, school led team they were thrilled to achieve 3rd place overall, having just missed out on the podium last year. We are all very proud of them.
I would especially like to thank the parents for their commitment to take the children to training nights and also to the qualifying and finals events, often including volunteering to help at the races in often challenging prevailing weather.
i hope that the school team will endure the transition from prep to college, and that it will be able to attract more skiers into racing – I have little doubt that there will be plenty of recreational skiers who might be interested once they become aware of the ski team.
St Mary’s Independent Ski Team Manager