Hanninton skiing starlet Jess Anderson is hoping her road to recovery is almost complete after coming back from a serious back injury to become the overall English national alpine champion in Bormio last week.
The English Alpine Championships, organised by national governing body Snowsport England, help provide an early glimpse of the stars of tomorrow.
And with 400 of the country’s best alpine skiers descending upon the Italian resort this week for the 20th running of the event, Anderson - who trains with the Ambition Racing team - had her work cut out for her.
But the 17-year-old Moulton College student proved she is one of the ones to watch as she collected the overall English crown after she won the national under-18 Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and Alpine Combined titles over the course of the week.
And after a long period on the sidelines having picked up a back injury at 2015’s British Championships, Anderson admits there is no sweeter feeling than being back on top.
“I’m still coming back from my injury so I’m taking it step-by-step, but this is a big one for me,” she said.
“The courses throughout the week were challenging but I’m really glad I got down. I won the GS last year but to win so many English titles is an amazing feeling.
“My training since my injury has been going really well, but it’s been a bit annoying not being able to put that into my races - hopefully that’s behind me now.
“I was injured initially at the British Champs last year, and I took a bit of time out, but I’ve had to ski back into it as the operation to fix it is probably not worth it at the moment.
“I haven’t really thought about winning it as the week went on, I’ve just taken each race as it comes because if you over think things you can mess yourself up.
“There’s still work to be done from here though and I need to stop starting my turns so early, and also I’m still trying to build my confidence back up after injury.
“Every day it’s a little bit better which is what I need to do. I’m heading home now to get back to school before I start training again for the British, and the aim there will be to win the overall title again - as well as not crashing and hurting myself again!”
The English Alpine Championships are an important step for any young skier, with British Olympians Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding both having competed at the competition.
Alcott, now retired from racing and coaching her own team, CDC Performance, is taking in the action all week from the sidelines, and she believes she has already seen several stars in the making.