Young Norfolk skier who is set to make history is aiming for Winter Olympics

Will Feneley training on dry slopes Will Feneley training on dry slopes

Monday, March 24, 2014
6:30 AM

The complete freedom he experiences when flying down a mountain at 70mph is what drives 14-year-old Will Feneley’s adrenalin-fuelled passion for skiing.

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Will Feneley in England coloursWill Feneley in England colours

That passion, combined with his “incredible” talent, has seen the Norfolk teenager tipped by top coaches to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Will, from Shereford, near Fakenham, is set to make history when he competes for Great Britain in the World Junior Championships in Italy this week.

He will become the youngest person to ever represent Britain in mogul skiing – a freestyle event where skiers display tricks, jumps and turning abilities.

Will, who has for the last six seasons trained and raced with the British Ski Academy, will be competing against skiers up to four years older than himself.

Will Feneley in action on railWill Feneley in action on rail

The Fakenham Academy student said: “When I’m out there I feel I can do whatever I want.

“I feel in total control and free to express myself and there’s nothing else that makes me feel that way.”

Will’s selection came after impressive performances in winning a gold and silver medal at the British and English Moguls Outdoor Championships in Austria earlier this month.

Chris David, head British Moguls coach, said: “Will’s skiing was nothing short of incredible.

Will Feneley mogul skiingWill Feneley mogul skiing

“He has taken this discipline by storm and is turning heads and catching the eye of several leading coaches.

“His fantastic results could have a very significant impact for the future and I hope this is the first of many successful days for ‘the pocket rocket’ in the bumps.”

Will skied for the first time at the age of six on a family holiday in Tremblant, Canada with his father David, mother Jane and brother Luke, who is now 16.

Mr Feneley said: “Will just took to it straight away.

“When we returned home he continued on the dry slopes and from there went into the British Ski Academy.”

Will spends five months every year, from December to April, with the British Ski Academy, honing his skills on the mountains of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

He will spend six weeks training in Mammoth, California in December and January.

Mr Feneley said “Will copes with the pressure very well and is getting more used to being away from friends and family. He has lots of friends on the academy with him, which helps.

“He gets his schooling while he’s out there and at Fakenham Academy, when back home, and he’s doing very well. He’s predicted to get A*s.

“Will is a very dedicated lad and he really wants to achieve great things – we are all very proud of him.”

Coaches have noted Will’s success in a multitude of ski disciplines including slalom, giant slalom, mogul, freestyle and super G.

He has won medals in many competitive ski events, both on dry slopes and on snow, and has been selected for the England Freestyle Development Squad, the England Alpine Ski Racing Development Squad and the England Mogul A Squad.

Will attributes much of his success to the Norfolk Snowsports Club at Whitlingham, near Norwich where he has been a member for eight years.

His love of the freestyle events was inspired by time spent on the dry slope at Norwich and he attends the club whenever possible.

Will also trains at King’s Lynn Gymnastics Club three times a week which complements his freestyle training and has helped him with his core strength and aerial skills.

Will said: “My aspiration is to become a top skier and to compete in the Winter Olympics, but I know I have a lot of hard work to do to get there. My family and friends have been so supportive and I am determined to make them proud.”

Will needs at least six pairs of skis which cost an average of £600 each and need replacing every season.

He is grateful to his sponsors Head but is hoping to secure additional sponsorship to help him through the next few years on his quest for selection for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

To see how you could sponsor Will, contact Mr Feneley on 07887 506772 or email djfeneley@yahoo.co.uk

Do you know of anyone achieving great success? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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