IT WAS a week to remember for sibling skiers as Rob and Charlotte Holmes both sealed podium places at the English Alpine Skiing Championships.

Rob, 17, picked up a silver medal in the Under 18s slalom and was also first English skier while 13-year-old sister Charlotte was second in the slalom, third in the Super G - and was third Under 14s girl overall at the championships held on the slopes of Bormio in Italy.

The pair take inspiration from Chorley’s Dave Ryding, who like the Holmes’ brother and sister act, honed his skills at Pendle Ski Club.

Ryding equalled Britain’s best-ever alpine result in January and came close to a medal at the recent World Championships finishing ninth overall.

Rob and Charlotte, both from Barrowford, are now doing their best to follow in the footsteps of Ryding having scooped medals at English Alpine Skiing Championships – where the Winter Olympian also began his career.

“It’s amazing what Dave has done,” said Rob, who like his sister is part of the Team Evolution Ski Race Academy.

“It makes it realistic, but it shows how far there is to go and the challenges that lie ahead. It does makes you think it is possible, it’s great what he’s doing.

“I’ve met Dave before, he’s hard-working, humble and sets a great example for anyone coming through the ranks.”

In Bormio, Rob gradually improved as the week progressed, crashing out of the giant slalom before placing 44th the following day in the same discipline.

As the East Lancs star’s season reaches boiling point, having started out with a four-week spell in Chile over the summer, he’s increasingly confident in his method.

“Slalom’s usually my strongest point, it’s nice to get some results in the giant slalom too,” said Rob who attends Nelson & Colne College when at home. He also is studying remotely a sports course through Loughborough College.

“Bormio is a very nice hill and there have been good conditions. It’s an amazing place to race.

“I’m slowly chipping away at my seeding points and it’s been a good season.”

While the pair wish to one day emulate Ryding, Charlotte admits her big brother Rob is also a big inspiration.

“Dave Ryding is definitely an inspiration,” said the Park High School pupil. “But I also have my brother, Robert. He is quite an inspiration, he had shown me hard work really does pay off. He pushes me as well. On race days, it’s great to have him there helping me out.”

Parents John and Andrea are delighted that all their hard work has paid off. “We are extremely proud of Robert and Charlotte’s achievements at Bormio,” said Andrea. “They both trained very hard in the months leading up to the championships and that paid off.

“They spend weeks away from home during the winter training in Austria, with Team Evolution Ski Race Academy. They love it and that is what is required if you want to make it in alpine skiing.”

She added: “When away from home in Austria, they also have to keep up to date with their school work, in between training on the mountain and a rigorous fitness programme.”

While John and Andrea are proud of their children’s efforts, they admit it is an expensive sport to take part in and currently looking for sponsorship and have set up a fund-raising page.

“There is no funding available from the governing body for them at the moment,” added Andrea

“All their training is currently financed by us. The more successful they are, the more financially difficult it becomes.

“Obviously for us, it increases two fold, with two talented skiers in the family. So if any local business could help a little, that would be great.”

The fund-raising page can be found at:

* Snowsport England is the national governing body for skiing and snowboarding in England, aiming to inspire as many people as possible to try snow sports. Find out more about Snowsport England’s affiliated clubs, athletes, competitions, coaching and campaigns here: