SKI racer Cameron Thomas is straight into the competition season this weekend with his first round of races as an England squad member.
Thomas left his Brixham home at 4am on New Year’s Eve for the British Ski Academy in Les Houches, around an hour’s drive from Geneva.
Thomas knows the academy well as he has trained there every year since 2010, when he was talented spotted as a 12 year old.
This season Thomas has moved up a level in more ways than one and the pressure will be on him to justify his place in the England U18 squad.
“This winter will be a big step up for Cameron following the move from children to juniors,” said mum Jill.
“The whole world opens up with international FIS races, so lots to overcome and lots to prove.
“Cameron was out training on New Year’s Day with the first block of races starting on Sunday.
“Assuming all goes well, the plan is for Cameron to be away for three blocks of three weeks at a time from now through to the end of the racing season in early April.”
Thomas will be competing in a night slalom in Chamonix on Sunday.
Thomas has overcome a knee injury to break into the England set-up and, an injury which may have proved a blessing in disguise as it made him work hard on conditioning.
“Cameron left in fine form, as strong as I have ever seen him and, perhaps due to his knee injury last winter and very late start to the season, he is even more determined and focused,” said mum.
“He has grown hugely, in height and physique, and his progression in the gym, thanks to Winners 2000 and trainer Tom Cawston, has been huge.”
Thomas is a student at Brixham Community College and has worked with teachers there to sort out a distance learning programme.
There has been a lot to get through before flying out to the Alps, including taking some GCSE’s early.
Richard Burden, the assistant principal at the college, said although Thomas would miss some schooling because of his ski racing, programmes exist to help him out.
“In the past when Cameron has been away skiing we have put distance learning programmes in place and we will continue to support him in the same way,” said Burden.
“Cameron has never neglected his schoolwork in the past. He is studious about it and works hard to catch up.”