Being mentored by an Olympic medallist is every boy or girl’s dream.
But for 13-year-old snowboarder Tomski Robinson it is a reality.
The youngster, from Wilmslow, is being helped in his quest for glory by Sochi snow queen Jenny Jones, who last week became the first Brit to win a medal on snow.
Tomski first met Jenny four years ago when he was just nine as she presented him with his first bronze medal at the Grom Games in Chill Factore ski and snowboarding centre Manchester.
Now he hopes to emulate Jenny’s history-making first bronze medal on snow – and grab a place himself on the podium at the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
She has since given a string of tips about winning on snow and now, as an elite rider, Tom is regularly invited to board with Jones and the rest of Team GB on the slopes in Austria.
Last summer Tomski and Jenny spent time in rehabilitation together after they both sustained injuries and she inspired the teenager with invaluable advice.
Tomski’s mother Felix, 42, who volunteers at the Chill Factore where he trains three times a week, said: “Tom sustained a number of injuries last year and it was Jenny’s advice that kept him going.
“Last year Tom broke his collar bone, dislocated his elbow and snapped his growth plates all in the space of six months. It is a lot for a young lad to deal with but Jenny spent some time with him in rehab after she had been injured.
“Jenny told him how important it is to keep going. She told him that if it is meant to be it will happen and that has really helped him to work hard at his rehab. Her words really stuck with him and helped him to stay strong.
“Tom saw how bad Jenny was after her injury and now she has gone on to win a medal it has really spurred him on. She is a real inspiration to him.”
Earlier this week Bristol-born Jenny became the first Brit to win a Winter Olympic medal on snow after she took home bronze in the slopestyle competition.
Her victory comes after a number of lows including a serious back injury and ligament damage, and Tomski hopes to follow her footsteps despite battling his own setbacks.
The youngster took up snowboarding aged eight after his mother thought it may help improve his severe hip disorder, which made it difficult for him to walk.
Tom immediately began showing great potential and in March last year Tomski broke a world record by winning two gold medals in under-15 boarder cross and under-12 freestyle at the Scottish Mountain Championships.
The teen now trains at Chill Factore three times a week and on mountains six times a year.
Tom is set to compete at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Norway and says it is thanks to tips from the likes of Ben Kilner and Jones herself that he is feeling so optimistic about the future.
Felix, who has two other children, Benjamin, 16, and Charlotte-Rene, 15, said: “Tom feels so lucky to be able to receive advice from his heroes.
Kilner gave him some tips on how to ride into the half pipe. He is learning from the best.
“The other day Tom said to me ‘knowing Jenny Jones is like knowing Mo Farah, how many people know Mo Farah?’
“He is so proud of her for what she has achieved this week and he contacted her on Twitter to say well done.
“We believe Tom has what it takes to take it all the way. He has come so far already and Jenny’s success has encouraged him to keep on going.”
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