Young Brits grab chance to shine at European Indoor Moguls Championships in Manchester’s Chill Factore

The FIS European Indoor Moguls Championships returned to Manchester last week, with competitors from all over Europe descending on the Chill Factore.

Mogul skiing is a freestyle event which tests the style in the air, flat speed and controlled turns of the athletes.

A winter Olympic sport since 1992, Mogul skiing is popular among winter sport enthusiasts due to the nature of its thrilling gymnastic jumps and exciting against the clock race element.

Athletes compete in both singles and head to head dual competitions, chasing both championship medals and for points which will be their passport to Europe and World Cup levels of competition.

Will Feneley, a 16 year-old from Norwich (pictured above right), was the most successful Briton competing over the two days, winning European medals of every colour and the British title in both the single and Dual event.

“I come up to Manchester to ski quite a lot, as they host English, British and European competitions,” he said.

“Its a really good place to compete; a nice long steep slope, compared with a lot of other venues, and they put on great events here.

“I’ve skied in America, Australia and quite a lot of Europe – they get snow in Australia so I spent nine weeks in Perisher this summer.

“One of my aims is to get to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in a few years, I’ve got to work towards that.

“I would love to have a professional career in skiing but I still do my college work while I’m away skiing – I’ve got to have a back up plan,” he said.

This is only the second event of its kind in Manchester and organisers are hoping to help raise the profile of the unusual discipline.

Jodie Grant, 15, was also competing and won a bronze medal in the European Ladies Dual event and won the British title.

She was pleased with her mogul runs, using the opportunity to work on her air work and style through the turns. 

“The main thing that we’re judged on is our technique so I’ve been trying to work on that,” she said.

“I’ll probably go away for about five weeks over the winter to practice my freestyle so that I can work my tricks into the moguls when I come back to Manchester.

“Its always fun doing competitions in Manchester, I definitely recommend coming here to practice your skiing, you’ll learn a lot.

“I like the international events – the Dutch and the Swiss all speak English so we all get along very well.

“I like to go to the World Cup series first and then try out for the Olympics if I get a chance,” she said.

Event co-ordinator, Nikki Leese, said: “We’re hoping to visualise moguls for everyone.”

“It is an international event; we’ve got athletes from all over Europe who have come over to compete for us and we want it to get recognised as a skiing discipline because it is one of the rarer ones that people tend to compete in or know about.

“Its spectacular to watch because it involves jumps and skills in the air as well as mogul skiing so its an extra special event and people don’t get to see it very often.”

“There is a bit of a party atmosphere at the competition, that’s the way it goes with moguls World Cup skiing; we try to have as much fun as we can whilst we’re on the snow.

“The athletes are all good friends because they compete against each other all around the world, so they have a really good time whilst they’re here.”

Leese is hoping that hosting the Indoor Moguls Championships in Manchester will inspire more local people to want to get involved.

“People in Manchester can get involved in mogul skiing at Chill Factore, we have introduction to moguls lessons and improver courses too.

“There are also some coaching courses as well, where you can gain coaching qualifications in moguls.”

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