THERE’S no place like ‘dome’ for two Donaghcloney siblings who will be taking part in a special skiing event inside a snow dome in Milton Keynes.
Harry and Lucy McDowell will represent Northern Ireland today (Thursday) at the Ice Age SNO!ympics at the Milton Keynes SNO!zone, a huge indoor dome filled with real snow.
12-year-old Harry, who goes to Lurgan Junior High School, is a very proming skier and a member of the Irish Development Squad. His sister Lucy (6), who attends King’s Park Primary School, has been on skies since the tender age of four and will be one of the youngest skiers at the event.
The Donaghcloney pair are looking forward to the event where they will perform on the slopes in front of Winter Olympians and the glare of the TV cameras.
Their mother Jane, who is chairperson of Silverwood Flyers Ski Club, said: “They’re really, really excited about it. They’ve skied on snow before but never in a snow dome.
“Harry is a great wee skier. Lucy has been learning since she was four. We’re very lucky to have a facility like Craigavon Ski Slopes on our doorstep. I remember learning there when I was four.”
They are joined in the Silverwood Flyers by seven-year-old Heather Wenlock and 14-year-old Jordan Hanna.
They will be representing the province in this prestigious event inspired by the Ice Age films and the success of London 2012. The SNO!ympics will see children from as young as six compete in miniature versions of Winter Olympic sports. The 16 children chosen from hundreds across the UK will compete in the Ice Age-themed events in front of Olympic heroes including Amy Williams MBE, Great Britain’s first Winter Gold Medallist in 30 years, Olympic Snowboard star Dan Wakeham and freestyle skier Becky Hammond.
Jane added: “We are very excited that the Silverwood Flyers are taking part in the SNO!ympics and are delighted to be involved in the promotion of snow sports at every level. These winter sports have helped to develop our children both physically and socially from a young age and hopefully will benefit them for a long time to come.”
Harry and Lucy train with the Silverwood Flyers every other Friday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and the club is always on the look out for new members. On Sundays Harry has to be in Dublin for 9am to train with the Irish Development Squad.
Jane said: “The weekends are busy to say the least.”
The Lurgan woman’s eldest son Jack (17), who goes to Lurgan College, has competed in the World School Skiing Championships as part of the Irish team. He also helps out with the Skiability classes at Craigavon as does his younger brother Sam (16).