High-flying Callum aiming to emulate Sochi slopestyle ski stars

A young freestyle skier from Hemel Hempstead is hoping that his sport will receive a post-Olympics boost as a result of its popularity at Sochi 2014.

Callum Welch, 16, took up the extreme sport four years ago, and is already part of the England slopestyle development team. His older brother Ross is a professional freestyle skier.

The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Picture (c) Ross Woodhall

The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Picture (c) Ross Woodhall

And Callum is believes that his sport is on the verge of hitting the big time, thanks largely to the performance of Team GB’s James Woods in Sochi.

“I think the addition of slopestyle to the Olympics will boost participation in the sport enormously,” said Callum. “Hopefully more funding and support will help our sport as whole to reach newer, higher levels.

“I think James Woods has inspired not only British skiers but he has reached the world through his skiing – showing that for a country with little snow, we don’t do badly!

“I think James and the rest of the British winter Olympians should be extremely proud of how they have represented our country and how they performed in their events.”

Callum Welch is part of the England slopestyle development team.

Callum Welch is part of the England slopestyle development team.

And Callum is hoping that one day he can follow in the footsteps of his Olympic heroes.

“I am currently part of the England slopestyle development team and this is a platform for young skiers like myself to start hopefully working our way up to Olympic status, progressing through different tiers of the team,” he said.

“I compete mostly in the UK but also compete internationally which is good because it helps you to find out your level of skiing compared to the rest of the world.

“One of my best placements was fourth in my age group at the British Indoor Championships in Manchester.

“It’s very helpful having The Snow Centre pretty much on my doorstep as it enables me to get as much skiing as I can and being sponsored by the slope saves my parents on bit of money too.

“I look forward to going skiing every week and if you truly believe you can succeed then, with a lot of hard work, you will achieve your goals.”