A GREAT Cornard Upper School pupil inched closer to her dream of one day skiing for her country with a strong showing in the British School Girls race in France.
Natasha Wright, 14, of Lindsey Tye, near Hadleigh, went head-to-head with Great Britain squad members in tricky conditions in Flaine, finishing not far behind them in 12th place in the slalom, despite having limited snow training opportunities.
The Suffolk Viking member, who trains every week in Ipswich, the only dry slope in the county, is now targeting first place in her age group — 13 and 14 year olds — in the eastern region league.
Her father Bernie Wright is vice chairman of the Vikings and chairs the Eastern Region Snowsports Association, who organise the ERSA summer league she competes in.
“I was delighted,” he said. “She wanted to finish higher, but I was delighted considering the amount of training she has been able to get in on snow.
“The conditions were not good and I am very proud of her.”
After taking a short break from the sport, Wright is now focused on achieving her full potential on the slopes, where she currently competes in the CH2 category on the dry slopes summer league in the eastern region.
Wright’s brother Craig coaches her at the Suffolk Vikings, where she has been a member for the past five years, although she has been skiing since she was six years old.
She came fourth in the British School Girls event two years ago, though her father explained the level of Alpine training current GB team members have in the older age group makes it a much harder level to compete against them, making her most recent achievement, at the end of last month, the best of her burgeoning career.
She also competed in the giant slalom, but was not as successful.
Wright is heading out to Les Houches, southern France, next month to compete in the Inter Schools Ski Challenge for children, representing Great Cornard Upper School. She will continue her training to focus on the ERSA summer league series, which starts in April, and the first race she will be taking part in is the ERSA Ski Schools Championships.
To join the Suffolk Vikings Ski Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org