In the starting gate

In the starting gate

I wonder how fast a young boy’s heart would be beating as he stands in the starting gate before plunging down an icy giant slalom course. The 12 boys who represented the school at the IAPS Ski Championships in Italy last week will know the answer first hand.

This superbly organised event featured more than 250 competitors from 37 schools. Our boys skied very well in qualifying rounds and achieved the target set for them by the Italian coach of all qualifying for the Championship Race as opposed to the Plate.

Race day proved to be the only sunny day of the week and the clear crisp conditions resulted in a fast, icy course. Despite the boys’ best efforts our runs were not as good as they had been in qualifying. In 24 runs, two per boy, we had nine crashes and one disqualification! Such is sport; the boys had to push to the limits if they were to get into the medals but, unfortunately, this year it was not to be.

Congratulations to all the boys for their efforts, and especially to our highest ranked finishers. James Wildblood (9th Under 13), Elias Azlen (13th Under 11) and Luke Zaleski (17th Under 13).

Winning a few medals would have been lovely for the boys but the experience of standing in that start gate and pitting their skills against a course set to challenge even the best of skiers will be something that will stay with them for a very long time.

Have a look at the official video to get a feel for the event, perhaps you'll want to sign up next year.