ROSSENDALE Special Ski Club ruled the slopes of Serre Chevalier in France after returning from the National Championships as the best of British.

A total of nine Rossendale-based skiers took part in the championships and they all enjoyed their moment on the podium as they scooped 20 medals between them.

Now three of them - advanced skiers Rebecca Owen, David Corr and Cameron de Vial - are waiting to find out if their efforts in the Alps have been good enough to be selected for the Great Britain team that will compete in the World Special Olympics in Austria next year.

Owen from Bacup was crowned Special Olympics GB female slalom champion after a brilliant performance in the advanced category. She also won silver medals in the giant slalom and super giant slalom.

Chorley's Corr has also been put forward for a place in the GB team after winning silver medals in the giant slalom and super giant slalom while de Vial from Haslingden - who was among the medals - is also hoping to get the nod from the GB selectors.

However, there was success for the other members of the Rossendale contingent who were among 100 Special Olympic GB skiers with intellectual difficulties who battled it out for honours in the slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom.

Most notably from Cameron McGregor who blew away his rivals in the intermediate section despite only having skied on snow once before on a school trip.

The Bacup youngster won gold in all three events and in the speed event of the super giant slalom he clocked 55 seconds - 15 seconds faster than any of his rivals.

Daniel Myers from Haslingden won a bronze medal in the slalom, beating team-mate Corr by three tenths of a second, while Bacup's Hamish McFarlane and James Barclay from Burnley also won medals.

Matthew Evans from Northwich and Jake Hale from Devon, who are both members of Rossendale Special Ski Club, also got on the medal.

"The event was a great success for all our team skiers," said Rossendale Special Ski Club heach coach Mike Hopkins. "All skiers from all over the UK performed exceptionally well but our group of really excelled.

"At the last British Championships held in Pila, Italy we had a team of eight skiers who brought home 14 medals. This year, we had nine skiers who won 20 medals between them.

"Every member of the team did their best and achieved a podium position but there was some skiers who really shone."

The competition began with a training day and a classification race to determine which category they would compete in.

The advance and intermediates competed on competition course used for standard competitions while the lower intermediates were on a separate race piste more suited to their ability but one that still presented a challenge for them.

After the success, Hopkins also paid tribute to the support staff and coaches Alison Gibb, Tom Kirk, Nicky Rigby, John Vaughan and Jenni Corr.

"A special mention should go to all the support staff and coaches who helped the event and our team run smoothly and efficiently," he added.

Watkins said the event was like a 'mini' Olympics with opening and closing ceremonies which made the occasion all the more special for the Rossendale skiers.

"It was a great week," he said. "Keeping with tradition the event had both an opening and closing ceremony. The former was particularly special with a lot of pomp and ceremony climaxing in a spectacular fireworks display."