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Young slope-star takes silver at British Champs

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Freestyle skier Reuben Walker scooped silver at the British Championships in Switzerland.

The 11-year-old took home his medal in the under-12s Halfpipe at the Laax-staged British Snowboard and Freestyle Ski Championships.

Walker competed in four events in all against the best riders from England, Scotland and Wales at the state-of-the-art freestyle resort.

The Coppice Primary School pupil narrowly missing out on the medals with three fourth placed finishes in the Big Air, Ski Cross and Slopestyle.

Proud dad John said: “He’s skied so well and thoroughly deserved his medal. Laax is one of the world’s best ski slopes. It’s got huge halfpipes, huge jumps and really caters for the freestyle scene. He really enjoyed it.”

Walker junior got his first taste of the slopes at a young age following in the footsteps of his parents who were keen on snowboarding and skiing.

“When he was five we decided to take him to the snowdome at Tamworth,” said Walker senior. “He began on the junior club, learned to ski and very quickly got an urge to start jumping things and riding his skies in a different manner.

“He then moved on to the freestyle scene where we either go to Tamworth on the freestyle nights or we go to Stoke where there’s a fantastic freestyle scene and he rides with others of all ages and they’re like a little family.

“They push each other on. They all support each other and his love for it has just continued. It’s always been his decision to do it or not, we don’t push him, he does it for the love of the sport, which is why we did it.”

Reuben, a British indoor silver medallist on the under-12s Slopestyle, also got the chance to meet his ski hero James Woods, who competed in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and finished fourth in the Ski Slopestyle.

“Reuben’s aim is the Olympics,” said John. “The X-Games is another that keeps cropping up. We’ll just have to see where it goes. There’s some great riders out there at the moment and always more coming through.

“It’s a very competitive level that gets higher and higher every year.”