IT might be downhill on the slopes for Oscar McCall – but his sporting career is certainly on an upward curve.
The 13-year-old skiing ace is the winner of the big prize in this year’s Chichester and District Youth Sport Achievement Awards.
He won the Observer readers’ vote for efforts which have seen him win a national skiing championship and get into the British squad for his age group.
McCall, from Stoughton, was selected for the Sport England under-14 skiing development squad last year and, recently, for the British Alpine skiing under-16 GB squad. He trains for much of the ski season with the British Ski Academy in Chamonix.
In January, he won the Welsh championships in Champery, Switzerland in the slalom and later that month he represented GB at the Andorra under-14 international races. His top place was 11th in the super combined race’s big international field.
In March, in Les Houches, France, the Churchers College pupil won the British inter-schools overall under-14 cup – followed by a trip to Meribel, France, where he won the Delancey British children’s championships in the under-14 slalom.
In the Chichester awards, he beat off competition from fencers, shooters and a hockey player – all of whom have performed at a national level – to win.
He also picks up a cheque for £250 from Chichester Priory Rotary Club, which along with the Observer are partners with Chichester District Council in running the awards.
McCall said: “It’s great to win – I didn’t expect it. I love skiing; I’ve done it since I was three.
“One day I want to ski for GB in the Winter Olympics, but there’s a lot of hard work before that.”
Next on the horizon for McCall, who is on Churchers’ elite althlete programme and gets a lot of support from staff in pursuing his dream, is to establish himself in the British under-16 set-up.
McCall is also a keen tennis and rugby player while sister Phoebe, 16, is a very proficient horse rider as well as being a great skier, too.
n He needs sponsors to help with equipment and travel – email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.