Young skier Finlay Royle heading on an upward curve in a 'downhill' sport after landing multiple titles!
The 13-year-old, from Read, might compete in a ‘downhill’ sport, but his career is already on an upward curve.
And he is dominating the scene in all pockets of Great Britain.
“I have a background in skiing, I grew up racing in a similar manner so he’s following in my footsteps,” said dad, Chris, who had previously worked as an instructor in Geneva, Switzerland.
“My stepson, Ciaran Bradwell, 19, started racing and we were going all over the country. At that point Finlay wanted to join us.
“He started training at six, then at eight we moved him to Rossendale where he was trained by Gordon Wellens, who had coached me when I was young.
“Gordon has just won the UK Snowsports’ National Children’s Coach of the Year.
“Finlay took to the sport amazingly well and started racing. He’s been winning ever since he started skiing.”
Despite a lull during the pandemic, Finlay was able to reacclimatise quite quickly and developed a healthy habit of collecting silverware.
He was crowned British Under 14s champion in Gloucester in August and landed the English Championship in Silksworth later that same month.
“During the pandemic we looked for every opportunity we could within the Covid-19 guidance so that we could train,” said Chris. “Rossendale didn’t open for over a year so I took 20/30 kids to train in Stoke every Sunday morning.”
“He was training hard from June last year, until Christmas, and then he was straight back to it as soon as everything opened up again in 2021.
“He kept himself fit by going out running and riding his bike, he didn’t look for any excuses not to train. He’s worked really hard so he deserves this success.
“Now he’s wiping the floor with older internationals, but he’s just so laid back with it. He’s been head and shoulders above everybody else in his age group this season.”
The youngster added the Scottish title to his treasure trove last month when excelling in Hillend, Edinburgh, as he decimated the field in his age category, taking the U14 prize by nearly 10 seconds.
And he took third place overall, out of nearly 120 competitors that had entered the dry slope championships at Midlothian Snowsports Centre.
Finlay capped an incredible season, winning both the Welsh Championships and Wales Open in Llandudno, securing a top 15 finish out of 140 entrants overall.
Chris continued: “I’m very proud. To win every championship in a season is incredible. I’m not sure it has ever been done before. I don’t think one skier has had their name on every trophy, until now.
“It’s an incredible achievement for somebody so young.”
Comparisons are already being drawn to World Cup alpine ski racer Dave Ryding, who has competed in three Olympics, four World Championships, and won the Europa Cup.
The ex-Pendle Ski Club star, who finished runner-up in the slalom in Kitzbühel in 2017 and the parallel slalom in Oslo in 2019, has inspired a generation.
After Finlay finished third in the English Schools’ team event with CRGS in Norwich, Chris concluded: “I know Dave Ryding well, I grew up racing with him.
“In my opinion Finlay shows the same levels of ability at the same age. There’s no reason why he can’t go on to emulate what he’s achieved.
“Anyone in the sport has to look up to Dave as their motivation.”
He added: “You’ve got to use him as your inspiration. He’s in the top 15 in the world, he’s the benchmark for where you want to go, he’s the best British skier we’ve ever had.
“The goal has got to be to take it as far as you can. International selection and then the Olympics would be the dream. It would be great to see him on our TV screens one day.”
Chris would like to thank Rivington Alpine in Adlington, Chill Factore, Dare 2B and Campari Ski for their continued sponsorship and support.
Any individuals or businesses interested in helping Finlay on his journey can contact Chris at [email protected].