MAX PINI is hoping a late summer camp in New Zealand will give him an added edge going into the English Alpine Ski Championships next week, writes Jimmy Booker.

And the 16-year-old Bibury racer has vowed to bounce back in Bormio this time around after the disappointment of missing out on last year’s competition through injury.

But two podium finishes in slalom and giant slalom – winning the latter – at the New Zealand Youth Series 2017 means he has ended 2017 on a high and is itching to add more silverware to his cabinet after a knee problem curtailed last year’s championships.

“Last year was my first year in under-16s and I injured myself doing Super-G the week before and couldn’t race,” he said.

“It was a twisted knee. I did try and ski but it was too painful. I want to avoid that this time around.

“I was very pleased with my results in New Zealand – it was at the end of the summer camp and I’d put a lot of effort into that, I’d seen a lot of improvements in slalom, in particular. And I delivered, which was very good.”

Held between February 11 and 16, the English Alpine Championships are organised by Snowsport England, the national governing body for snow sport in England that is responsible for growing participation in snow sports through direct funding from Sport England.

They work closely with snow centres, artificial slopes and clubs around the country, as well as managing English squads and athletes across all snow sport disciplines.

No stranger to Bormio, Pini has competed through the age groups in Italy and has been skiing competitively since he was six.

And the Ambition racer is hoping to use his experience and nous gathered from years of competing to his advantage – and hopefully top the podium in the under-16s.

“I’m aiming to win the giant slalom,” he said. “Our year is very strong compared to other years and because it’s quite an easy hill in Bormio, it tends to go to the person who commits the least amount of mistakes.

“I’ve only been out there for the English Championships, but I’ve been going out there since I was eight.

“I’d say I’ve got a good idea of the slopes and there’s some new guys in the field who are very good, but you might not feel as confident if you don’t know the slopes and want to push yourself.

“If you have that confidence, you’ve always got an advantage.

“I want to get top 30 in Europa Cup one day and once I get that it will be sensible to push for the World Cup after that.”

For this winter Olympics season Snowsport England has launched ‘PyeongChang to Piste’ (, featuring events and taster sessions run by various clubs and slopes throughout the country along with tailored downloadable resources for schools