Teenage freestyle ski star repays charity that has helped his career

HELPED BY SPORTSAID -- freestyle ski star Justin Taylor-Tipton.
HELPED BY SPORTSAID -- freestyle ski star Justin Taylor-Tipton.

HE might be only 16, but West Hallam freestyle ski star Justin Taylor-Tipton is excited to give something back to the charity that has supported him through the early stages of his career on the snow.

Taylor-Tipton, already an English champion at U16 and open age levels, has been a SportsAid athlete for two years and, earlier this year, he achieved three U16 podium finishes at the British Championships in Switzerland.

SportsAid is the national charity that helps the next generation of British sporting superstars, helping them with financial support and recognition during the early stages of their careers.

At the last Winter Olympic Games in 2014, 34 of the 56 Team GB athletes in Sochi were current or previous SportsAid athletes, with Lizzy Yarnold winning the team’s only gold of the Games.

Now Taylor-Tipton is to host The Charity Jam at Stoke Ski Centre on October 22, when proceeds will go to the charity, without whose support the Kirk Hallam Academy pupil admits he wouldn’t be the athlete he is today.

“I did a charity event last year but this time, I chose SportsAid because I wanted to give something back to them,” said Taylor-Tipton, who received his 2016 SportsAid award from Nottingham Building Society.

“It makes me feel really good because the money will go back to young athletes like me and help them. Without SportsAid, I wouldn’t be able to go abroad as often, hitting the big jumps and doing all my tricks because you can’t do that in the UK as the jumps are so small. The charity has really helped me to develop my performance.”

Next up for Taylor-Tipton is the British Indoor Championships, in which he was second overall last year in the open age category. But his dream is to compete at a Winter Olympic Games, and his sights are firmly set on 2022.

YOU can make a real difference to the next generation of British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week – a new fundraising initiative taking place this week. Please visit http://www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek/ to find out more.