Clapham skier Angus Wills is looking forward to returning to his favourite venue when he visits Bormio for this month’s English Alpine Skiing Championships.
Wills, 19, races for Evolution Ski Racing and will compete in slalom, giant slalom and Super-G events when the Championships gets under way on February 17.
He’ll head to Italy on good form too, bagging the first podium of his nascent career in Champery back in January to begin 2019 in fine form.
Now the Londoner is keen to take that performance to new heights and better both his compatriots and the best skiers in the world – starting with the English Championships.
“Bormio is always great, they always do a really good job of the pistes, it’s a really fun piste to race down,” said Wills.
“Champery was my first senior podium so that was a good tick in the box.
“I’m trying to be a bit more disciplined with reacting to the ups and downs of sport, trying to keep a level head and just trust the process that consistent hard work will eventually lead to good results.
“I feel like I’m doing well and I’m practicing hard, but it’s hard to know how well you are going to go until you’re actually there competing.”
The English Alpine Skiing Championship, where Olympian Dave Ryding started his career before competing in the World Cup, is one of the biggest annual competitions in the skiing calendar.
It also provides an opportunity for British athletes to meet up with skiers from different clubs, an aspect of the event which appeals to Wills.
Wills first began skiing at 13 before marking his first full season at senior level in style, making significant improvements to find himself ranked 12th in the Cit Arnold Lunn World Cup.
But these achievements have far from happened by chance.
After spending five years at Ambition Racing ski club, the teenager made a change last summer to freshen up his skiing, and his new-found enjoyment for the sport is what inspires him to strive for the best.
He added: “I have a fresh outlook, I took the whole summer off skiing and I didn’t train.
“I’ve come back into it with a fresh enjoyment and love for it.
“There have been times when I’ve had to take a lot of step-backs in my technique to build back up and get rid of some bad habits but my progression has been quicker than I thought it would be which is a pleasant surprise.
“I just try more and more every day to enjoy it and I find the more I enjoy the sport the better I get at it because I’m more willing to put in that extra ten percent.
“When you find yourself with a good result it means you’re skiing well because there’s no shortcuts in skiing.”
Snowsport England is the national governing body for skiing and snowboarding in England, aiming to inspire as many people as possible to try snow sports. Find out more about Snowsport England’s affiliated clubs, athletes, competitions, coaching and campaigns here: www.snowsportengland.org.uk