NEW ZEALAND and England may not seem the ideal locations for skiing but for Cirencester freestyler Felix Klein, they’re simply perfect.

Growing up in a small town on the other side of the world, all the 18-year-old did was ski with his friends, with fun the main motivator as opposed to competition, writes Will Jennings.

But when Klein and his family moved to England three years ago, that all changed.

Now the talented teen is keen to make a career out of his ability on two skis, already moving on up in the freestyle circles with plenty of time still left to hone his skills.

“My biggest achievement so far is competing at World Cup level – although I haven’t landed a run yet, it’s the highest level I’ve competed at. One was in Italy and one was in Switzerland,” said the British Gold Club member.

“It was interesting to see how professionals compete compared to amateurs – it was almost more relaxed as an environment. It was cool.

“Freestyle skiing is a tiny sport – you know everyone. I’m mates with people who are doing these World Cups every single time, but it was definitely an eye opener to what can and could be done.

“Next season starts in Australia and New Zealand – I’ll go down there for two competitions in Australia and two in New Zealand.

“Hopefully I can try and do quite well in that series – The Continental Cup – and after that it will just be training until I come back to Europe to do Europa Cups and World Cups.”

Klein was speaking at a SportsAid workshop being hosted in partnership with GVC – the multi-national sports betting and gaming group – at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

GVC are supporting 50 athletes across 33 sports, with each one receiving a financial award and personal development opportunities through SportsAid, including support around nutrition, mentoring and media training.

Olympian Leon Taylor and Paralympian Millie Knight, who are both SportsAid alumni, were also on hand at the workshop to share their experiences of elite level sport.

And Taylor, who delivered a mentoring session, said: “I’ve been involved with SportsAid for many years as an ambassador and it started when I received a SportsAid award as a young athlete.

“I really know how much of a difference getting that recognition can make. I’m supporting the cause now as a retired athlete because I know what the journey is like.”

GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit to find out more.