THERE was no stopping the St Joseph’s College ski team when it won the dual slalom at the West Midlands schools’ race. With three top 10 national skiers in their own age groups the Catholic high school in Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, now has as good a ski team as any in the country.
They put their success down to the quality of the local ski slopes, with good man-made facilities in Stoke and Telford.
The young men know, however, that they will have to spread their wings if they are to emulate the continental Europeans, who benefit from more mountainous terrain. They are Piers Cadman, 17, who trains at Stoke and is in the nation’s top 10 for Years 11, 12 and 13; Chris Yates, 13, who trains at Telford and is a top three skier for Years 10 and 11 and Josh Streeton, 14, who trains at Stoke and is in the nation’s top 10 for Years 10 and 11.
Chris said: “Britain and in particular Stoke and the North Midlands has some great facilities and top clubs, but we have to work abroad if we are to develop. I am going to spend seven weeks of the winter abroad with the Telford ski team and national squad, training in the Alps this autumn, winter and next spring and it’s the only way we can develop.” Josh Streeton, who will also be spending six weeks away, added: “In young skiers like David Riding, Ed Drake and Chemmy Alcott, Great Britain now has as strong a squad of young talent as ever and they’ve all had to win commercial sponsorship to develop their talent. We hope we can do the same.” Roisin Maguire, St Joseph’s College headmistress, said: “Piers’s sister, Lauren, who has just left St Joseph’s as an England international, set the bar for our current generation of skiers and we hope these young men will be future models. They work exceptionally hard at their chosen sport and deserve the community’s support.” Piers added: “You need strength, stamina, flexibility, vision, awareness and agility to be a top skier, but above all you need to be fearless.”