Bethany’s Olympic dream receives sponsorship boost

Bethany Widdup in action on the slopes
Bethany Widdup in action on the slopes

Former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil Bethany Widdup has received a sponsorship boost to aid her alpine skiing career.

The 18-year-old worked full time at Walkers Bakers in Skipton this summer to raise some ‘dough’ to help fund her winter season, and has now welcomed the Water Street business as her main sponsor.

Bethany, a member of the 2013-14 England Alpine Ski Team, will be sporting the Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers logo on her ski helmet, as she competes in slalom, giant slalom and super G competitions this winter.

Having won the 2012 British Indoor Ski Championships, she narrowly failed to defend her title in Manchester last month, finishing second overall by just 0.26 seconds.

However, she did win her age group to become the British Indoor Under 21 champion.

Bethany first discovered the ski bug while on a family holiday, and is now a member of the Ambition Race Academy, having recently returned from its training base at Leogang in Austria, where she has been busy honing her skills on the Kitztienhorn glacier.

After just 10 days at home, she flew out to Hemsedal in Norway for a further three weeks’ training, ahead of the forthcoming ski season, when she will compete in races across Europe.

Bethany has already received financial support through Pendle Leisure Trust’s Talented Young Athlete Scheme and the Lancashire Rising Star Fund, designed to help young sports people excel in their chosen sport.

Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers has now stepped in as her principal sponsor, and rising star Bethany, who has second and third places in British and English slalom and grand slalom championship races under her belt, said: “I am extremely grateful to past and present sponsors for their generous support. It has really helped to set me up well for the forthcoming winter season.

“There is no official financial support in place, which is why I work full time in the summer to help pay for everything. Every little bit helps and my ultimate ambition is to quality for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.”

Robert Walker, who owns and runs Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers, and is himself a keen skier, said: “Beth grafted really hard for us this summer and soon became a popular member of our team.

“She’s an extremely gifted skier and we wish her well with the England Alpine Ski Team this winter.”