For Chelmsford skier Allegra Martin, this year’s English Alpine Skiing Championships are more than just a competition – they’re a landmark. 

The 14-year-old was diagnosed with Stage Four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer in early 2017, recovering in time to compete at last year’s edition. 

But it was a tough road back for Martin, with both mental and physical barriers to overcome as she battled to regain her confidence on the slopes.

And that’s what makes this year’s iteration so important for the Essex teen: Martin is feeling back to her best. 

“I recovered from illness a few years ago and lost a lot of confidence – the first day back skiing I fell over and hurt my knee,” she said. 

“Now I’m fully better and feeling confident, so I’m just looking forward to going back to normal.

“I went to the Championships last year, but had only just got back to skiing, so didn’t have much confidence and didn’t do as well as I’d have hoped. 

“But now I should be fully better. It’s the first time I’ll be able to compete back to full fitness, so I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I can do.

The English Alpine Skiing Championships, where Olympian Dave Ryding started his career before competing in the World Cup, is one of the biggest annual competitions in the skiing calendar.

Taking place in the Italian resort of Bormio, racers will compete across slalom, giant slalom and Super-G disciplines, with the Championships beginning on February 17.

And for Martin, it provides the perfect blend of socialising and competitive action, with a particularly exciting added incentive tied to strong results. 

“I really like it,” she continued. “The opening night, with the parade; I really like seeing all the different people from different clubs and parading around. 

“Then just the atmosphere is very different to other races: it’s a lot more friendly, loud, fun and I make a lot of friends there from other clubs, whereas the other races seem to be a bit more serious and competitive, not quite as fun or chatty.

“Normally it seems okay, I don’t lose friends over competing, but I can see how you might!

“I’d really like to be selected for GB. It tends to vary, but to be in the top two or three of your year of birth – that’s how you get selected.

“I think if I had a GB race I’d take it further from there. I’m not sure what will happen, because it gets a lot more competitive, but I’d love to be a part of it.”

Snowsport England is the national governing body for skiing and snowboarding in England, aiming to inspire as many people as possible to try snow sports. Find out more about Snowsport England’s affiliated clubs, athletes, competitions, coaching and campaigns here: