A duo of young skiers have been called up to the English Schools’ ski team.  Emily Riley and Isobel Brooks, Year 11 and Year 10 students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, have been selected from ski racers across the country for the 2020 English Schools’ Senior Squad.

Emily and Isobel were up against strong competition with the selection process based on their ski racing performance in the recent English Schools’ Ski Association National Championships in Sunderland and Norwich, as well as taking into account results from earlier races. Their achievement is made all the greater as many of the contenders are from large private schools who have their own school ski coaches and others who are able to train more frequently due to being closer to ski training facilities.

Emily and Isobel train every week with the school ski squad and Ravens Tigers Racing Club at Silksworth Dry Ski Slope in Sunderland and, when possible, on snow at Xscape in Castleford or when it snows locally. Isobel commented: “I have hoped to get on the ESSKIA Squad for a while and have finally got the chance to go. It is something that I have been aiming for. I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and learning new skills under the experienced coaches.”

The girls, who have been skiing since they were three years old, have been invited to attend squad training camps in Norway in February. The camps provide students with a unique and valuable experience in developing their skills, ability and teamwork. Emily said: “I was so excited when I heard I had been selected for the squad. I couldn’t believe it when we found out and I can’t wait. It is such a great opportunity. I am really looking forward to the camp in Norway to train and race on snow.”

This news came hot on the heels of the both the boys’ and girls’ school teams qualifying for the British Schools Championships at Stoke.  Most had not skied or competed at Stoke Dry Slope before but everyone raced exceptionally well against tough opposition and gained good times. The girls’ team finished 13th and the boys’ 12th out of 25 teams each. This was a fabulous result for Richmond School in this British event.

Mark Lowden, ski coach at Everyone Active Silksworth Ski Slope, Sunderland, said: “Emily and Isobel have been coming to Silksworth for a number of years with Richmond School’s ski squad and have worked hard on developing their technique and skills. I am really pleased to see that they have achieved one of their goals with getting onto the ESSKIA 2020 Squad. Both girls are keen and willing to improve by making changes to their technique and putting this into practice. I was over the moon, when I found out that they had been selected.”

 Kevin Sandell, Richmond School’s English Ski Association’s representative said: “Emily and Isobel have worked incredibly hard and should be extremely proud of their achievement. They are both dedicated and passionate and I know they will put 100% into developing their technique and skills. The boys’ and girls’ ski teams have reached a very high standard and it’s great to see them rewarded for their commitment.”