When I was just a year old I had an infection in my right eye and lost the majority of sight in that eye. Five years later the same thing happened in my left eye. So my sight is now pretty rubbish.
I started skiing at this time and really got the bug and ended up being a little obsessive about it. I contacted the charity, Disability Snowsports UK and spoke to Sean Rose at the ski show in London 2010 and it snowballed from there on.
I was invited on to the British Disabled Ski Team Development Squad in 2011 and started racing in November 2012 with my Mum as my guide.
I now ski with my guide Brett Wild who has been released by The Royal Navy for the next 4 years. We communicate with each other using Sena Bluetooth technology so that I know what the conditions are like on the piste and if there any lumps, bumps and obstacles on the snow.
“When I was much younger I thought I had perfect vision because I didn’t know anything different. So I used to just follow people without even realising they were guiding me”
I have so much support from my Mum and friends, not to mention from my Team and all my coaches who have been so brilliant There are lots of other people who have been instrumental in my development as an athlete and a person.
My school, Kings School Canterbury, have been amazing, they have supported me in many aspects of my education and sporting life. It was quite difficult for me to juggle my GCSE’s and A’levels with skiing but they made it possible.
I am now studying at Stirling University to study Psychology. I am really enjoying being a student again, after a year off for the Paralympics. It’s definitely good to be training at Scottish Institute of Sport, who are also based at Stirling Uni.
There is a lot of travel and it has often been difficult to study and to be an athlete but it is doable and healthy to have another focus. I am not frightened of hard work, which helps. I do get very tired but it really is a great experience, even getting up early when on a training camp; Skiing hard all day, doing some sort of recovery, waxing skis, physio sessions, video analysis, Studying, good nutrition and then to bed to do the same the next day – I’m never bored.