Charlie Luke, Steyning Grammar School student has been selected to represent Great Britain and the British Children’s Team at the Ski-Interkriterium International Race Series at the end of January. This follows his recent successes at the Independent Schools Championships in Deux Alpes in December where he won the Giant Slalom event and followed this up with a gold medal in the slalom at the British Alpine Skiing Championship in Les Houches at the beginning of January.
Charlie said: “I came to Les Houches for the Anglo Scottish with expectations of a top five place, so to see all my hard work paying off with these podiums makes me really motivated and excited for the rest of the winter season.”
Nick Wergan, Steyning Grammar School Headteacher said: “We are very proud of Charlie’s achievement – he is a great ambassador for the learning characteristics we are determined to develop – zest and grit in action! It was great to see him win the Slalom Gold for Steyning Grammar at the Schools Championships and we wish him every success in his first race for Great Britain this month.”
Charlie first began skiing at the age of two and a half but only rekindled his interest two years ago. He has recently teamed up with former Great Britain International Skier and four time Winter Olympian, Chemmy Alcott who is now his ski performance coach.
Chemmy Alcott co-founder of CDC Performance, set up to develop and inspire skiing performance said: “We took Charlie to New Zealand with us last summer and he has just gone from strength to strength. He has grown in maturity so much in a short space of time. I have never seen someone make such progress in terms of technique at his age in six months. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with him.
“He excited me for many reasons, physically he is strong, he has a solid ski foundation and I could tell that he wanted it! Also he had spent a few seasons skiing with DHO (Downhill Only) which was the club I started with.
“He was in the top 15 in the country before, but now he is battling it out to be the British No.1.
Independent School Ski Championships – Giant Slalom – 1st Place
Artemis Anglo Scottish BSA Championships – Slalom – 1st Place
Artemis Anglo Scottish Cup – Slalom – 2nd Place
Artemis Anglo Scottish BSA Championships – GS – 2nd Place
“The stats speak for themselves; in seven races he has podiumed five times with three victories and two silvers. The races last week were held in tough conditions with a strong field. We aimed for a top five. First day he won. The best was that none of our team was shocked. He had skied in the race exactly like he had trained; he didn’t crumble with the pressure of leading after the first run. He stuck to his game plan.”
His mother, Amanda Luke said: “I am so proud of Charlie’s excellent ski racing results over the Christmas period, especially the Independent School Ski Championship where he was representing Steyning Grammar School. We can only thank you as a school for supporting him and in the true words of the school, for making him the best that he can be.”
Charlie has got the English Championships in February and he has just been selected to race again in the Topolino event in Italy in March. This is the biggest and most competitive ski event worldwide and a real honour to be invited. He also has the British Championships in April but the big occasion will definitely be racing for Britain for the first time in January where he hopes to finish in the top ten.