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Family's Shropshire skiing connection spans borders

By Rob Smith | Telford | News | Published:

International junior skiers came to Shropshire to train, reinforcing a bond between clubs that goes back almost 30 years.

Austrian skiers Vicky and Pauli Candlin, who visited Telford ski centre, with Bryce Tonks 11

Pauli and Vicky Candlin, born and raised in Austria, visited the Telford Snowboard & Ski Centre to follow in the footsteps of their father David.

David, 47, was a popular trainer at the Telford Ski Club in the 1980s, and later managed the centre.

Even after moving to Austria in 2000 to teach, he maintains a strong partnership between the Madeley club and his own in Alpbach, Tyrol.

He visits every year, usually accompanied by international competitors Pauli, 17, and Vicky, 15, who both have Austrian-British nationality.

Vicky and Pauli Candlin with Zoe Harris and Hattie Newton, both aged eight

The pair both participate in the Junior Freeride World Tour, and Pauli is ranked 9th in the Austrian competition.

"That's not too bad in the skiing nation," said Pauli, who was born in Austria like his younger sister.

"From next year I will be in the official senior Freeride World Tour, I can't wait.

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"I love skiing because it is the closest feeling you can get to flying.

"The feeling you get beneath your feet is amazing.

"You can always go higher, faster and further, there is always room for improvement.

Vicky and Pauli Candlin with Zoe Harris and Hattie Newton

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"The first time I ever wore skis was when I was in Telford when I was young. I can't remember a winter without skiing."

Pauli and Vicky both first put on skis while visiting Telford, and progressed under the tutelage of experienced father David.

He now acts as the director of children's skiing at the Alpbach Activ ski school.

Skiers and instructors from Alpbach often visit Madeley to train and share resources, and vice versa.

David said: "My parents still live in Wellington, it's really nice.

"I come back every year for a few days. Telford has changed so much over the years.

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"The people are still great though, and I do miss England.

"I've tried to keep the Telford connection going, it's a bit like a family aspect to it.

"The Telford ski team is one of the sponsors for Vicky and Pauli, I think it is brilliant because it is all a closed circle as this is where I started out."

One of the instructors who learned from David in the 1980s was Nigel Buckley, who now works at the club as a duty officer.

Nigel said: "We are lucky to have them here, it's pretty amazing.

"We have been pleased to have a partnership with the club over in Austria for some years.

"David worked closely with us for some time and when he moved over there we maintained that connection.

"We always welcome them back with open arms."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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