Whitby skiing sensation, Thea Fenwick has been having an amazing winter season.
Despite snow storm conditions, her season culminated in double medal success at the British freestyle ski championships (known as The Brits) in Tignes, France.
While on holiday in January, Thea’s talent was spotted by snowboarding coach Steve Addicott, who trains members of the GB junior snowboard team.
Fyling Hall student Thea was invited to train with the GB juniors, becoming the only skier among a group of the UK’s best young snowboarders. Since then Thea, a member of the Yorkshire Ski Team, has been training hard, spending five weeks in the French and Italian Alps in preparation for The Brits.
Thea travelled to Tignes, (also the site of the X-Games) to compete in The Brits, a freestyle competition for the country’s elite skiers and snowboarders.
This was her first major outdoor freestyle competition since making the switch from traditional slalom skiing last year.
Day one of The Brits was the Skiercross competition, a knockout race where four skiers compete head-to-head on an extreme course of sharp turns, jumps and bumps.
In the final round heavy snow was falling but Thea started the race aggressively and seized first place.
However, her small height and frame proved to be a drawback as she was overtaken and pipped to the gold medal position by experienced England skier, Madi Rowlands.
Thea was thrilled to scoop a silver medal. Day two was the Slopestyle competition, where skiers battle for execution and style marks on a course of rails, ramps and boxes.
Although Thea was carrying a neck injury, she narrowly missed a podium place, finishing in fourth place.
Day three was the Halfpipe competition. Skiers competed on the immense X-Games Superpipe with 22ft high walls, intimidating for any skier never mind a tiny 11 year old.
The conditions were dreadful with heavy snow causing a near white-out.
Thea took the bull by the horns and got high marks for a variety of tricks including 360s, grabs and alley oops. She finished third in her age group and fifth in the ladies overall, taking home a hard-earned bronze medal.
Thea’s mum Sarah Fenwick said: “We’re immensely proud that Thea is now ranked among the top three girls in the country for her age.
“With sufficient training and support she has the very real prospect of becoming a Winter Olympian.”
Thea, who attends Fyling Hall School, is a member of SZ Racing Club and attends weekly training at Castleford or Manchester.
Thea is sponsored by clothing manufacturer, Rubix Kangaroo and also has support from Head skis but is seeking further sponsorship especially from a local firm.
More information about Thea can be found on her website, www.theafenwick.com