A student at Kirk Hallam Community Academy has been invited to train with the GB freeski team in Austria.
Justin Taylor-Tipton is one of Great Britain’s top up and coming young freestyle skiers and recently won a gold medal and two silvers at the British Freestyle Championships.
He has now been invited by Pat Sharples, Head Coach of the GB Park and Pipe team, to train with them in Stubai, Austria, for two weeks. Justin has already flown out to Austria and is due to return later this month.
His mum, Helen, of West Hallam, said this was the first time he had been invited to train with Team GB.
She said: “This is the first time he has been asked to train with the full GB freeski team. He was asked because of how well he has progressed this year and as an Elite National Academy skier the head coach would like to continue this. Justin was excited and shocked to be invited.”
At the British Freestyle Championships, Justin won the gold in the U16 rails category and was placed fourth overall.
The 15-year-old scooped silver in the U16 slopestyle category and was placed seventh overall. He also finished runner-up in the U16 halfpipe category, ending up in sixth place overall.
His 12-year-old sister Ella took part in the same competition and won a bronze medal in the U12 halfpipe, finishing fourth overall in the open rails category.
Justin is part of the Freestyle National Academy and has just returned from a training camp in Switzerland which is run by Joe Tyler, who owns JT Freeski Academy.
The National Academy is a partnership between Snowsport England and British Ski and Snowboard to support the most talented athletes who have been identified as having the potential to progress.
It is part of the GB Park and Pipe Performance Pathway – a type of skiing which involves tricks and jumps – with the next stage being the GB park and pipe elite team followed by the potential for Winter Olympic selection.
Justin started skiing when he was seven, began competing in races when he was nine and became a freestyle competitor at the age of 12.
He learnt freestyle at Swadlincote Ski Centre and trains at Hemel Hempstead, Stoke Ski Centre and Halifax Ski Slope.
Martin Ebbage, head teacher at Kirk Hallam Community Academy, congratulated Justin and Ella on their recent achievements.
He said: “Justin and Ella are both incredibly talented and we would like to congratulate them on their medal-winning performances at the British Championships. It is also incredible news that Justin has been invited to train with the GB freeski team for the first time. Both Ella and Justin have bright futures ahead of them and we will be giving them our full support.”