BOURNEMOUTH skiing sensation Maddi Burns insists she is in a stronger position than ever to enjoy a successful outing at this month’s English Alpine Championships.

The 14-year-old will be one of 350 of the country’s best alpine skiers to descend upon the Italian resort of Bormio from Saturday.

It will be a fifth visit to the competition for Burns, who will certainly not be coming into the competition cold.

The Bournemouth Collegiate School student, who lives in Winton, is one of a select few athletes who train with Ambition Racing in Austria for 26 weeks a year.

And having picked up two top-10 finishes in 2015’s giant slalom and slalom competitions, Burns is desperate for further success as she moves up an age category.

“At the moment we’ve been focused mainly on the technique and when I’m racing I need to be a bit braver but that will come with confidence,” she said.

“It’s going really well with Ambition. It’s a great opportunity to have and I am concentrating a lot more on my racing and feeling a lot more positive which can only help me to do well.

“It’s my first year at under-16 level this year which is intimidating of course but then again it is also forcing me to try harder and giving me a good goal to aim at.

“My performances in Bormio in the past have been varied. I’ve been just off the podium a few times so getting a top three would of course be brilliant. But I’ll be happy with a good position amongst the younger girls in this age group.

“The English Alpine Championships are really important because it is one of the best races to have a good result in and a place people judge you on.

“I’m hoping I can get near the podium and that would make it a very successful winter for me.”

The English Alpine Championships help provide an early glimpse of the stars of tomorrow with British Olympians Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding both having competed at the competition.

Burns’s team, Ambition Racing, are also defending champions in Bormio, and coach TJ Baldwin – himself a former British overall champion – is predicting more success this time around.

Baldwin said: “The English Alpine Championships are very important to these guys and as an event it has the best feel to it out of anything in the season.

“Last year we did so well there as a team so we’ve got good hopes of doing the same again this time. Our time on the slope sets us apart from the rest and our coaches have all been to these races and done it ourselves.

“We upped the bar in terms of results in 2015 and that is what we are aiming to do again. It’s the first year we’ve run the full-time 26-week programme and we are trying to train harder than ever.

“We’ve have a really good January spell and I personally feel we are even better prepared this year so I am going in fairly confident that we will be able to do the same again.”

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