Danielle, Zara and Lily Hawkins

Success in Triplicate

danielleI have met many talented young Peppard people in the lifetime of this column but it was a first for me to be talking to triplets about their achievements! Lily, Danielle and Zara Hawkins are 15 years old, have lived in Peppard since 2004 and are pupils at Gillotts School, Henley.

Born in Dubai, they have also lived in Jersey and Canada and began skiing at the age of three. Skiing has been a passion of their father’s for many years and something that has really taken off for the girls. While the family lived in Canada during 2008/09 they had greater access to the sport as members of Mount Washington Ski Resort which, along with ice skating, really confirmed the girls’ talent for winter sports.

Upon returning to Peppard, the girls continued ice skating at Bracknell before being approached by Bracknell Ski Race Club to trial for the local ski team. Success soon followed and the girls progressed to Hemel Ski Race Club, based at the indoor snow centre in Hemel Hempstead, where they trained and raced alongside many of the best junior ski racers in the UK.

All the girls have achieved numerous individual and team successes for both club and school across Regional and National events. They are currently the London and South East Schools’ champions and have achieved silver medals for two years running in the National Schools’ Championships. Zara is also the current U16 Hemel Club champion. The girls’ achievements were recognised at an even higher level when, in 2015, they were all selected to join the England National Schools’ Squad for the trip to Norway earlier this year.

All three girls have cemented their national places as, at the time of writing, they have been selected for the 2017 squad.

Since it receives no national funding, ski racing is both time consuming and expensive. The girls train most weeks all through the year and race on dry slopes and indoor snow venues in places such as Landgraaf, Holland, which boasts one of the world’s longest indoor ski runs.

They have been very fortunate in skiing and racing all over the world and are especially looking forward to heading to Killington, Vermont, to start the coming winter season.

Having fun, developing friendships and building a lifetime interest is at the heart of the triplets’ passion for skiing and the mountains and ski racing are simply a part of that journey.

Sue Nickson