Paralympic ski star Whitley has Castledawson connections

James Whitley who has been selected for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.
James Whitley who has been selected for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.

A GRANDSON of the former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland James Chichester-Clark, has made the 15-strong GB Winter Paralympics team for Sochi.

James Whitley (16) is an alpine skier and has to balance his time on the slopes with time spent doing his GCSE homework.

He is the son of Tara Chichester-Clark and is a regularly visits his grandmother, Lady Moyola, in Castledawson.

“He only recently found out that he had been selected for the GB team,” said Lady Moyola.

“We are all extremely proud of his achievement and wish him well in Sochi.”

Whitley, from Wilmington in East Sussex, competes in the Alpine Skiing, Slalom and Giant Slalom.

He has been a skier since the age of four and made his international debut when he was 11. He has also represented both his school and Courchevel, where he trains, in non-disabled competition, winning six cups.

Since being recruited to BDST, James has made great progress and is World Cup qualified in Slalom and Giant Slalom.

In 2013, he competed in his first major international, the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, Spain, where he ranked 16th in the Giant Slalom.

He finished the 2012/13 season by winning his first senior medal, a bronze in Giant Slalom at Chamrousse, France.

However, Whitley admits his emotions got to him when he found out he had been selected for the Russian games.

Full story in today’s South Derry Mid-Ulster Mail