The 2017 Ski Club of Great Britain Evie Pinching award supported by Switzerland has been won by Thomas Gerken-Schofield a 19-year-old Mogul Skier from Chelmsford, Essex.

Thomas managed to secure the public vote which this year saw incredibly close competition right up to the last hours of the poll. The other five athletes shortlisted were Kirsty Muir (Freestyle Skiing), Cal Sandieson (Freestyle Skiing), Ellie Soutter (Freestyle, Freeride & Snowboard Cross), Laurie Taylor (Slalom Skiing) and James Whitley (Alpine Parasnowsports standing class).

Thomas Gerken-Schofield, winner of the 2017 Evie Pinching Award said:

"Well I definitely didn't expect to win with the other incredible skiers in there, I'm obviously really happy about it, I'm over the moon!

This award has motivated me to work even harder in training, to get fitter and stronger so that I can be the best I can possibly be for 2018, I’m really looking forward to training with the Swiss athletes too.

Huge thanks to BSS for nominating me and to everyone that voted for me, thank you all for believing in me."

This year, athletes were nominated by the sport’s National Governing Bodies, Snowsport England, Snowsport Scotland, Snowsport Wales, Disability Snowsport UK and British Ski and Snowboard - with a shortlist of six chosen by the Ski Club.

The award is named after Evelyn Pinching (1915-1988), a British alpine skier who competed in the Olympics and won Britain’s first World Championship medals at the 1936 women's downhill and combined events in Innsbruck at the age of 21.
To be eligible, athletes must be aged 24 and under, and considered ‘ones to watch’ in their discipline.

Frank McCusker, Chief Executive of the Ski Club of Great Britain commented:

“It is fantastic for the Ski Club to be able to support young talent with the Evie Pinching Award, especially when it helps some of the more niche disciplines that don’t necessarily get as much funding. Thomas has already achieved some great results and hopefully this funding and training with the Swiss will give him that extra boost that will take him to the next level”.

This award celebrates the next generation of snowsports athletes, aged 24 and under, who are considered ‘ones-to-watch’ in their discipline. Thomas will be awarded a one-off bursary of £1,000 for the year to help with their training and competitions, and will also have the fantastic opportunity to take part in Swiss-Ski athlete training camps in the run up to the 2018 season. A full presentation will take place later in the year.

The Evie Pinching award forms part of the Ski Club’s INSPIRE programme which recognises and rewards the talented men and women who are making a positive contribution to snow sports.

There are six categories of awards and funding which include the Thomas Lang Schools Bursary, Student Bursary and The Green Award, which are yearly funding schemes available for schools, students and snow sports enthusiasts, aiming to develop and encourage participation in snowsports.

Find out more about the Ski Club Inspire awards here.