A teenage skier from Pendle, who competes for Team GB, has been named as an ambassador for a Lancashire charity.

Charlotte Holmes, who is heading to the 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival in Italy later this month, has been announced as the latest ambassador for Dan’s Trust.

Charlotte, 17, from Higherford in Pendle, began skiing at three-years-old and has been race training since she was just seven.

Lancashire Telegraph: Pendle alpine ski racer, Charlotte Holmes, is the latest rising sports star to become an ambassador for Dan's Trust CharityPendle alpine ski racer, Charlotte Holmes, is the latest rising sports star to become an ambassador for Dan's Trust Charity (Image: Dan's Trust Charity)

She now spends over half of the year abroad, in Radstadt, Austria, at an elite facility that allows young ski racers to combine their school studies and athletic training.

Now with generous funding from Dan’s Trust, Charlotte who was announced as part of the Team GB Youth Olympics squad for the Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival this week, is hoping to also qualify for the World Junior Championships and participate at the national championships.

Charlotte said: “Having to self-fund my training program and equipment costs is extremely strenuous for my parents and I.

“The kindness from Dan’s Trust will bring both financial and mental reassurance, allowing me to focus on performing well.

“The funding from the charity will be used to help cover my equipment costs which are one of the main costs we have to cover annually.

“My skis, boots, helmets and race clothing alone can cost up to £10,000 a year, so this grant will help me buy the skis I need to perform at an elite level.”

Charlotte, who is currently part of the Great Britain Snowsport FIS Squad, usually trains on the slopes from 7am to 12pm, six days a week and then completes her schooling and fitness in the afternoons, taking just one rest day.

Back in the UK, Charlotte is active within the grassroots of the sport, volunteering at her local ski club, working with shops and sponsors to promote herself and the sport, and is currently undertaking her coaching qualifications as she looks to pass on her knowledge to others.

She also regularly contributes to Skier and Snowboarder magazine.

Lancashire Telegraph: Pendle alpine ski racer, Charlotte Holmes, is the latest rising sports star to become an ambassador for Dan's TrustPendle alpine ski racer, Charlotte Holmes, is the latest rising sports star to become an ambassador for Dan's Trust (Image: Dan's Trust)

Paul Telling, one of Charlotte’s coaches and Team Evolution programme director, said: “Charlotte is a fantastic young ski racer, who combines an obvious love for ski racing with a phenomenal work ethic.

“On snow, she trains with the right attitude, intensity, and focus, whilst off the slope her behaviour is exemplary and she acts as a fantastic role model for others.

"Charlotte has a great amount of potential, however it is her attitude, work rate and persistence that sets her apart. 

“Ultimately, I believe it is these core values and characteristics which will see Charlotte reach a high level within any sport in which she competes, and that help make her a fantastic role model for other young females within sport.”

Charlotte finished the 2021/22 season as the U18 British Champion winning National titles in multiple disciplines, and achieved the selection criteria for the 2023 European Youth Olympics, which she will be racing in from January 21 to 28, in Tarviso, Italy.

She follows in the footsteps of Chorley ski racer, Dave Ryding, who Charlotte cites as a genuine inspiration to the whole of GB snowsport.

“Dave is someone a lot of young snowsports athletes can look up to, but to me and my journey, his path to success is very personal,” Charlotte said.

“He started at Pendle, following the UK’s dry slope circuit and not having much experience on the mountains until his teenage years, which is very similar to how my journey is going and really shows that anything is possible if you work hard enough and are willing to make sacrifices.

“I hope to carry on what Dave has started in British skiing and prove we can hold our own with the mountainous countries.”

Ian Bagshaw, co-founder and trustee of Dan’s Trust, said: “We feel very honoured to be attracting such impressive young talent, like Charlotte, to our Make A Difference Awards.

“She clearly has a very bright future ahead of her and we’re happy to be able to support her with a donation to help her on the path to sporting success.”

Dan’s Trust, which was founded in 2012 following the sudden death of local sporting enthusiast Daniel Bagshaw, has also sponsored 10 other young people from across the county, including Muay Thai fighter, Lauren Phee, dancer Noah Garley and regional level swimmer Evie Sunderland. 

In 2022, the charity’s donations to local talented teens and sports clubs totalled over £56,000, and the board has bold plans to exceed this in 2023.

Dan's Trust was founded by Peter and Shelagh Bagshaw of Clitheroe, together with their sons Ian and Gary.

The charity was established after the death of their son and brother, Dan, who was just 27 when he died on the finish line of an ITU Olympic distance triathlon in Hong Kong after suffering from a sudden and unexplained arrhythmia.

Dan was a cycling enthusiast and extremely talented and athletic young lawyer.

As well as its successful awards programme, Dan’s Trust promotes and funds research into the early diagnosis of cardiac risk in the young, as well as the improvement of treatment methods for sudden cardiac arrest at Sheffield University and Imperial College London.

For further information and to apply for one of the charity’s Make A Difference Awards, visit the Dan’s Trust website and to donate head to: www.gofundme.com/f/dans-trust