Loan helps Tom make England trial

Suffolk schoolboy skier Tom Jarrold has earnt himself an England trial - despite racing on borrowed skis at the British Childrens' Championships at Meribel in France.

Suffolk schoolboy skier Tom Jarrold has earnt himself an England trial - despite racing on borrowed skis at the British Childrens' Championships at Meribel in France.

The 14 year-old from Hoxne, near Diss, finished the season with two top ten finishes in the most important event of the winter, a performance that has earned him a trial for the England squad for next winter.

However it could have been so different for the youngster after he almost didn't make the start gate for the first race.

The Framlingham College student explained: “I was preparing my race skis as usual the evening before the race, waxing the bases and sharpening the edges, when suddenly one of the edges just broke away from the laminate.

“There was no time to get a replacement pair, and I couldn't race on my practise skis because the edges on those were virtually non existent, so I was forced to run on the damaged skis.

“It was a bit like expecting a footballer to play in trainers instead of studded boots on a muddy pitch in a really big game.

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“Not surprisingly I crashed out at only the fifth slalom gate because there was no grip.”

Luckily for Jarrold a friend of his in the British Ski Academy, where he has been a student for three years, loaned him a spare pair of skis for the second slalom race.

Amazingly, despite the fact they were ten centimetres longer than his own, Jarrold powered over the finish line sixth in his age group and ninth overall.

It was incredibly close, with less than a second separating all six finishers outside the top three, and in the giant slalom it was a similar situation.

Jarrold's best result was eighth in his year group and tenth overall out of more than 130 starters. Again - outside the top three - less than one second separated all those finishing between fourth and tenth.

Because of poor snow conditions the organisers decided against running the super g (super giant slalom) event this year.

With support from the Ipswich based Puffa clothing company, and Maynard Educational Trust in the village of Hoxne, Jarrold is now seeking to extend his a sponsorship to meet the considerably higher costs of competing at junior level next season.

“Regulations in the juniors means I will need six new pairs of skis, of different lengths, for training and racing. These will include for the first time really long two metre 15 centimetre skis to compete in downhill races.

“Moving up a level to international junior racing is a costly business and without outside support I would not be able to progress to compete at the top level next year.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Jarrold can e-mail: scoop.sj@tiscali.co.uk, or call Stuart Jarrold on: 01379 668317.

The Suffolk youngster added: “It was my third year of competing in the British Championships and this has definitely been my best season ever.

“With a trial for the England squad, and really good results in the top four or five in other national championship events as well, I'd hate to have to give up racing now because of a lack of funding.”