A SCHOOL’S downhill ski stars are on the up!

Pupils of Abbey Gate College in Chester capped a highly successful year by finishing on the podium at a national championships.

They raced at the British Schools’ Dry Slope Finals, which took place at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre near Edinburgh, and the college’s ‘A’ team finished an excellent third.

The Chester pupils were just behind Surbiton High and Erskine Melville School, and ahead of schools such as Millfield in Somerset and Solihull.

The team comprised Sophie Caldwell (Year 11) from Bunbury, Zoe Karavasili (Year 10) and Christie Bell (Year 11), both from Chester, and Ellie Parker (Year 9) from Dodleston.

It has been an excellent year for skiing at Abbey Gate. The girls’ A team finished third at the English Schools’ Dry Slope Open Championships at Stoke in October.

Following qualification races and age group finals, a group of skiing stars have been selected to train with the English Schools squad in Austria and Norway next year. They are: Sophie Caldwell; Zoe Karavasili; Ellie Parker; Digby Brereton; Ben Shaw and Leo Karavasili.

Sophie and Zoe have also been picked to ski for the English Schools’ team at the World Schools’ Skiing Championships in Italy in March.

Abbey Gate deputy head Gavin Allmand said: “These achievements are testament to the hard work and dedication that the pupils demonstrate in their weekly ski training sessions and that of the staff and parents who support them.”