A young Chirnside skier has just been selected to represent Great Britain.
Charles Rankin, age 13, will take part in races throughout Europe during the 2015 season.
Charles has been skiing from the age of three and after noticing his need for speed, he was enrolled, at age six, with Lothian Ski Racing Association at Hillend in Edinburgh.
His first races showed that he had a talent for the sport.
His father, local dentist Robert Rankin, realised that in order to further his race training it was important to train in the Alps.
From age eight, Charles started training from December to April near Chamonix, France with the British Ski Academy and with the support, at that time, of Longridge Towers School, was able to successfully mix his education with race training with an elite group.
Progressing successfully, with many podium positions, through Minis racing from age eight to 12, he competed this past season in the highly competitive U14 category.
Charles gained podium positions in the Welsh, English, Scottish and British National Championships as well as the schools races, all held in the Alps .
Upon returning from a successful season, in May, Charles was selected to train with the Scottish Alpine Regional Academy (former Scottish Ski Team) and now trains weekly on the indoor snow at Braehead, Glasgow under the expert guidance of former Olympic Alpine racer, Finlay Mickel.
The icing on the cake came last week when Charles was selected by British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) to represent GBR in the Czech Republic in January at one of the elite international childrens’ races – one of only five U14 boys in the UK to be selected.
Charles said: “I felt really honoured when I found out that I had been selected to represent Great Britain next season.
“Being selected for the Scottish Academy in May was amazing, it was what I have always wanted, to train with the Scottish squad with the Olympian Finlay Mickel.
“He has so much experience through many years of international racing and I have gained a lot in the short time that I have been training with him which I am sure will improve my slalom results in 2015.
“Receiving the recognition was an amazing feeling.”