A young slopestyle skier from Newthorpe has returned home with a silver medal from the BRITS 2014 event in the French Alps.
Nine-year-old Bradley Fry, who is a pupil at Greasley Beauvale Primary School, was competing against much older athletes but showed he had the skills to match them by coming second in his age category (male U12s) and seventh overall in the half pipe competition.
His achievement was all the more remarkable given the overall winner of the event, James Machon, was a member of Team GB at the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Bradley spent two weeks at the venue in Tignes, which sits alongside Val-d’Isere, initially in a training camp for a few days before the competition, otherwise known as the British Championships, began last week.
He then took part in the ski cross, Bangers and Cash Rail Jam, slope style and half pipe disciplines.
He came fifth in the U12 male category of the Monster Bangers and Cash Rail Jam, designed to show off technical skills, height and creativity, narrowly missing out on reaching the finals.
He was also fifth in the Trespass Slopestyle, before claiming silver in the Trespass Half Pipe despite being the second youngest competitor in the whole championships.
Bradley’s dad Nick said: “He’s been skiing for four years and trains four times a week in Swadlincote, as well as Castleford near Leeds and every couple of weeks down in Bracknell, Berkshire, so he’s busy and is travelling around a lot.
“But he loves it and had an awesome time in Tignes.
“He’s now looking forward to getting back on the slopes here in the UK and competing throughout the summer ready for next season.
“He mostly trains on the dry slopes here and at the ‘indoor fridges’ so to compete on the snow in France was a great experience, especially with a training camp beforehand.
“He did really well to get the medal as he was dealing with 22ft high walls, similar to those they use at events like the X Games in terms of pitch, and also because most of his rivals were as much as two or three years older than him.
“He would like to thank his coaches Becky Hammond and James Webb and also his sponsors Planks Clothing and BUTTA for their support.
“Planks are based at Val-d’Isere so he was able to pop in and visit them while in France and they looked after him well.”
Bradley is looking for more sponsorship to help support his passion. If you are interested in helping out, contact Nick Fry on 07970 987788. You can also monitor Bradley’s progress by visiting his website at www.bradleyfry.co.uk.
Nick added: “It’s an expensive hobby and involves lots of travelling around.
“The sport has had a massive profile boost since the Winter Olympics and Bradley was even interviewed by the likes of the BBC when they visited training sessions in Swadlincote and Bracknell and also got on camera when he was in Tignes.
“He’s making great progress and trains in other disciplines too such as slalom skiing.”
Bradley expects to be back in competitive action in a dry slope event in Kendal next month.