Visually impaired skier Menna Fitzpatrick has won the Ski Club of Great Britain’s Evie Pinching Award for 2016. The 18-year-old from Macclesfield came out on top after a two-week online poll after she was shortlisted alongside Yasmin Cooper, Millie Knight, Matt McCormick and Lloyd Wallace.
It means that she will be awarded a one-off bursary of £1,000 ($1,400/€1,300) for the year to help with training and competing.
Fitzpatrick was talent spotted by ParaSnowsports GB and joined forces last season with guide Jennifer Kehoe.
They became the first British snow sports athletes to win the International Paralympic Committee 2015-16 overall skiing World Cup visually impaired title at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, while Fitzpatrick was also named as the giant slalom champion.
She won three gold medals and three silvers during the season with her goal now the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang.
“I am over the moon to have won this award,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, it was amazing to receive messages of support from around the world, as far away as India, South Africa and Australia.
“This award will really help me on my way to the Winter Paralympics in 2018.
“It was a privilege to even be nominated amongst such high achieving athletes including my team-mate and friend Millie Knight, who is also one to watch for the next Winter Games.
“Finally I would like to thank the Ski Club of Great Britain for all their hard work on behalf of British Skiing, and Snowsport Wales for their continued support, and for nominating me.”
The award is named after Evelyn Pinching, a British Alpine skier who competed in the Olympics and won the 1936 women’s downhill and combined events at the World Championships in Innsbruck.
To be eligible, athletes must be aged 24 and under, and considered “ones to watch” in their discipline.
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz