The tiny hamlet of Thornton in Lonsdale is celebrating the return of champion young ski-er Jacob Dawson from the Alpine slopes.
Nine year old Jacob – or Jake – is a local hero, having triumphed in this year’s junior ski competitions and is tipped to go on to greater things.
Parents Rob and Heather Dawson have been taking Jake and his younger brother Harry ski-ing every year of their lives. In 2015, while on holiday at their favourite resort Serre Chevalier in France, they were approached by talent spotters who flagged up Jake’s potential. On returning home, they enrolled the enthusiastic youngster in the Lions Ski Club at Snozone in Castleford and have been making the 6.5 hour round trip to weekly training sessions ever since.
Jake rapidly progressed and made it into the race team. In February this year he went to Bormio in Italy for special tutoring with JR Ski Racing, run by British number 1 ski-ier David Ryding’s sister Jo Ryding. There he raced for the first time in the English Alpine Championships, coming 3rd in the giant slalom.
Earlier this month Jake went on to race at Pila in the Aosta Valley, achieving bronze in the slalom and silver in the giant slalom Artemis Inter Schools ski challenge.Then the family headed on to Switzerland, collecting another silver medal and smashing the Under 10s Boys best time to clinch the gold in the slalom.
After a presentation ceremony at the Swiss international boarding school Aiglon College, the victorious young champion returned home and was joined by his friends from Ingleton Primary School for a celebratory party at the village pub part-owned by his parents, The Marton Arms.
His Mum, Heather Dawson, explains “The school, family and all his friends have been really supportive of Jake’s endeavours and they are all really thrilled at his recent success on the Alpine slopes. He’s trained so hard and the investment in training has been a massive commitment for all of us, so it’s great to feel it’s all been worthwhile.”
Away from the slopes Jake also manages to find time to play football for Craven Wanderers at weekends. Subject to funding, for which sponsors are welcome, in May he will be heading to a training camp in Landgraff, Netherlands and his next ski-ing competition will be the GBR indoor series throughout the summer where he’s hoping to build on his successful debut this season.