A partially-sighted skier is on the road to Russia after heading to the slopes to try and qualify for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
Jade Etherington, 21, from Bourne, was born with Axenfield’s syndrome, a genetic condition that causes fluid blockages in the eye and can lead to total blindness.
The former Deepings School pupil has had her heart set on competing in the games in Sochi in two years since she discovered her talent for
Jade has partial vision so can see light and dark, but she needs a guide skiing in front of her to radio directions and help her down the slopes.
But she was struggling to find a guide to help her race and was worried she would not be able to train and would miss out on a chance to qualify for Team GB.
The guides have to be British, a former skier at a national level and able to commit to a full training schedule, so suitable candidates are often difficult to find.
Thankfully after a frenzied social media campaign, Jade managed to find not one but two trained guides to help her during the coming winter season.
She began her training in Austria on Wednesday and is now focusing on getting to the Paralympic qualifying standard.
Jade said: “I am qualified for four out of the five events at world cup standard, but I need to be qualified for all five.
“I have one chance to make the standard I need in the giant slalom in a race in December so I am focused on that.
“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to ski again without a guide so I am really excited to get back out there.
“I also need to start working with my new
guides and building up relationships.
Jade, who is now based in Lincoln, is trying to raise £50,000 to help pay for this season’s training and travel to competitions.
She was unable to start raising funds until she had secured a guide, so she now has some catching up to do.
If you would like to sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/jadeetherington