OXSHOTT skiing ace Ella Weeks is desperate to channel her inner Dave Ryding as she prepares to take to the slopes for the English Alpine Championships.

The 13-year-old is set to head for Bormio, Italy, for one of the biggest races of her calendar, with this already her sixth time competing in the event, starting on February 11.

The week will coincide with Ryding taking to the starting gate at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, an event Weeks in particular is keen not to miss.

And after watching her hero go from strength to strength on the World Cup circuit, the teenager is hoping she can apply the same mentality to get the best out of her racing.

“I’ve been watching Dave Ryding a lot, he’s been really inspirational for me,” said the Guildford High School student.

“He works really hard and this season he has come out a lot more, he tries so much and I think he has the potential to do really well in the Olympics.

“I’m really excited to be able to watch him, when things are hard he pushes through and that’s what I want to do to make myself better over the long term.

“I would really like to represent my country at a World or Europa Cup one day, that would be really fun to compete against other countries because it allows you to see how good you are against other people.

“This year I would love to race internationally, I’ve been working really hard on my fitness and technical aspects so I like to think this is possible.”

The English Alpine Championships are organised by Snowsport England, the national governing body for snow sport in England that is responsible for growing participation in snow sports through direct funding from Sport England.

They work closely with snow centres, artificial slopes and clubs around the country, as well as managing English squads and athletes across all snow sport disciplines.

For Weeks this is a sport she started almost as early as she could walk, falling head over heels for skiing when first competing in events such as these Championships.

Taking her as far as New Zealand, the teenager is forced to put a lot of time into making herself the best sportswoman she can be, not that she would change any of it for the world.

With history also on her side, Weeks – who will compete in the Super G, slalom and giant slalom – is confident she is in a position to deliver her best when it matters most.

“The slalom is the favourite for me, I won in that event at the Anglo Scottish Cup in the summer so I’m really excited to see how I do in Bormio,” added the CDC Ski Club racer.

“At first the slalom it’s quite scary, but once you’re on the course you forget about everything that goes on and you’re just trying to think about getting your combinations right. You have to make sure you go the right way!

“I first went when I was under-10 and came third – but mostly I remember it being really exciting, it was my first time properly racing and I hadn’t really known what to expect.

“You gain a lot of experience about what you should and shouldn’t do and you’re able to learn a lot from that.”

For this winter Olympics season Snowsport England has launched ‘PyeongChang to Piste’ (www.pyeongchangtopiste.org.uk), featuring events and taster sessions run by various clubs and slopes throughout the country along with tailored downloadable resources for schools