Emma won’t be crossed on slope to success

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It is a sport that captivated the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver where it made its debut, and for Cleadon teenager Emma Peters, ski cross also holds the promise of a future career.

Described as a motocross on snow, ski cross sees four racers battle against each other on a downhill course containing a series of jumps and turns.

It proved hugely popular three years ago in Canada, attracting crowds of over 4,000 at the venue, and 15-year-old Emma hopes she can become an Winter Olympics star in years to come.

Having claimed silver in the Swiss Under-16 Championships and won the British Under-16 Championships within a few days in March, she is well on her way.

Dad Ged said: “It is an exciting sport and we hope that will attract more sponsors to it in the future.

“Ski cross puts a smile on Emma’s face. She loves the competitive element to it.

“You are competing against other racers, whereas Alpine skiing sees the racers compete against the clock.

“The aim is the Winter Olympics. There is a chance for Emma at the next one (in Sochi, Russia next year) but realistically her target is the Youth Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016.”

Emma’s love of the slopes started at the age of four when she took part in a small race at the end of a family ski holiday in France.

The Whitburn Academy pupil has gone on to claim a host of top competition wins, including the European, English and Scottish under 16 indoor championships and the British Grand Prix Series.

She stepped up to senior level last month, and will make her debut in August with the English squad in Chile.

The talented youngster is also expected to feature in England’s Alpine team this year, but the costs of competing in both disciplines are not cheap.

Ged added: “She trains for 10 to 12 weeks a year in Austria, and coupled with the cost of equipment and the fact her brother Jack trains with the British disabled team, it is very expensive for us.

“A pair of skis cost between £900 and £1,000 and she uses eight pairs a year.

“She has received support but it is difficult attracting sponsors in the current climate when money is tight for everyone.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Emma can email Ged Peters – ged3646@aol.com