Carly's a champion at 13
SKIIING: Ipswich skier Carly Phillips has been crowned British schoolgirl champion.And Carly, who was 13 earlier this month, iscurrently in Topolino, Italy, representing Great Britain in the children's world championships.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH skier Carly Phillips has been crowned British schoolgirl champion.
And Carly, who was 13 earlier this month, iscurrently in Topolino, Italy, representing Great Britain in the children's world championships.
The Copleston High School pupil is the highest ranked British skier in her age group and has been among the honours all season.
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Carly, of Rosehill Crescent, Ipswich, had already collected four silver and one bronze medal from
earlier events before she struck gold in the schools championship.
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It was staged in Flaine, France, near the Swiss border, and she achieved first place in the slalom, giant slalom and combined events to finish ahead of her 50 rivals at under-13 level.
Already the reigning English champion, she will compete for the British title in Austria at Easter.
Carly attends the British Ski Academy in Chamoix, France, and her father, Mark, paid tribute to her teachers at Copleston for their part in her progress.
He said: "All of them have been preparing work in advance for Carly and sending it out to her.
"It means she can race at the highest possible level and still attend school six days a week, and it means that when she returns after Easter she will be able to pick up where she left off.
"They did a similar thing last year and it is much appreciated. From talking to
fellow parents it is clear that other young skiers have struggled to get the same co-operation from their schools, so we are extremely grateful."
Also in Flaine, Carly joined forces with Jenna Gregory and Claire Shorrock to finish ninth in a 47-strong field competing in the team event.
And while Carly enjoyed her own personal success, Jenna was eighth in the 14-15 years category, which also attracted more than 50 entrants.
The trio are all members of the Viking ski team who train at Bourne Hill Ski Centre and whose chairman, Stuart Gregory, said: "We're absolutely delighted with the result.
"The three girls have worked hard and there was only 30 points between us in ninth place and the team who finished fifth. We're already looking forward to next year.
"Suffolk has a young ski team to be proud of and we are encouraging our youngsters to compete on snow as well as continuing their regular training on the ski slope in Ipswich."