An Ilkeston student who is one of Great Britain’s top freestyle skiers is aiming for Winter Olympic success.
Justin Taylor-Tipton, 15, who attends Kirk Hallam Community Academy, is part of the Freestyle National Academy and is currently training at a camp in Switzerland until April 2016.
The National Academy is a partnership between Snowsport England and British Ski and Snowboard to support the most talented athletes who have been identified as having the potential to progress.
The camp that Justin is part of in Switzerland is run by Joe Tyler, who owns JT Freeski Academy and who also trains the National Academy.
Mr Tyler said that Justin, who is an ambassador for Sportsaid, the Rob George Foundation and Go Ski Go Board as well as receiving financial support from The Rob George Foundation, had a natural ability with freestyle skiing.
He said: “He loves to ski and that shines through every day he is on the mountain.
“Justin works hard at his training and also loves it; he adds his own creativity and straight away can add his own style to the tricks he’s learnt which really make him stand out from the crowd.
“He has a huge potential within the sport and a bright future.
“He is definitely one to watch for the future and maybe sooner than we think.”
Justin started skiing when he was seven, began competing in races when he was nine and became a freestyle competitor at the age of 12.
He learned freestyle at Swadlincote Ski Centre and trains at Hemel Hempstead, Stoke Ski Centre and Halifax Ski Slope.
Currently first on The British Snow Tour out of 90 males, he has already won a string of medals.
These include becoming English Slopestyle Champion 2015 and a gold medallist in the under-16s section of the English Slopestyle event al 2015.
At the British Championships staged at Tignes in France he won a gold medal in the under-16s rails category at, silver medal in the under-16s slopestyle and placed fourth overall.
Justin’s ultimate goal is to compete at a Winter Olympics one day.
He said: “I hope that my love of skiing will take me around the world and that I will meet new people and have amazing experiences.
“I want to help push the sport in the UK by helping people locally and become a coach so that people get to see how fun it is first hand.
“My dream is to join the GB Elite Team and ultimately compete at a Winter Olympics and the X-Games.”