Austria bound

BUDDING southside skier Zak Vinter is packing his bags for Austria since being selected as part of the British children's team.

The 12-year-old will be briefly back home for Christmas before jetsetting off again to spend the entire month of January with the British ski academy at Les Houches in France.

This will lead the Newton Mearns youngster on to an international race being staged in the Czech Republic where he will compete for Great Britain at the end of January.

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Zak, a first-year pupil at Mearns Castle high school, is hoping to carry on his success from summertime when he won a number of championships at his age group.

The youngster can now boast the British, English, European and Scottish indoor titles as well as having clinched the Irish,

European and Scottish artificial championships.

After Zak's selection for the British children's

Alpine ski team, the chief executive of British skiing and snowboarding enthused.

David Edwards said: "Our role is to ensure that his talent is nurtured

appropriately so that we have a genuine medal

contender in eight years' time".

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Meanwhile, Zak's dad Mark — who first took his son skiing as a two-year-old at Bellahouston dry ski slope — told ExtraSport: "He has had excellent results throughout the summer and is looking forward to competing all over Europe this winter.

"Zak's also had great support from all the teachers at Mearns Castle to make it possible for him to combine his schooling with his training".

Following his remarkable success earlier this year, Zak was offered (and delightedly accepted) the Rannoch bursary which is going to help meet his costs in attending next month's training in France.

Meanwhile, and looking to the longer term, Mr Vinter is keen to explore the possibility of attracting any sort of sponsorship which might be offered by local companies keen to support this talented young wintersportsman as he continues to train and compete all-year round.

If you want to offer some support contact [email protected], or drop a line to ExtraSport and we'll put you in touch.

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