Donaghcloney teenager Harry McDowell is on his way to Andorra to take part in the prestigious international ski event the Trofeu Borrufa.
The 13-year-old Lurgan Junior High School pupil, one of three from Northern Ireland in the eight strong Irish team, flew out to Barcelona this morning (Thursday) along with Belfast’s Jordan Hannah and Jack Pang for this annual event which is regarded as a stepping stone for future Olympians.
The Trofeu Borrufa is one of the winter classics at Vallnord. It is the Pyrenees’ greatest meeting of international skiers aged 11 to 14 years. During the four days of competition, 200 entries of 27 different nationalities compete and live together at the Principality.
“This is my first time away with the Irish team and first major event,” said Harry. “I’m very excited about it and am looking forward to what will be a great experience.
“I hope to do well and finish it. I know there are Austrians and Italians taking part and they are big favourites but I’ll try my best, hit the gates and aim for a good time over the competition and see where that takes me.
“Mum and dad have been updating me on the conditions so hopefully it will be fine when we get out there.”
It has been a steady rise in the sport for Harry since he took up the sport.
“Mum got me into it by bringing me to the Silverwood Ski Centre and I kept coming back and back until I started to improve.”
The ski-ing bug is certainly in the family with mum Jane, brothers Jack, who represented Ireland at the World Cup, Sam and sister Lucy all actively involved along with Harry’s uncle Tom Thompson so plenty of encouragement if ever needed.