ten-year-old skiing sensation Haydyn Fiori has got the world at his feet, writes Paul Goodwin.
The Sprotbrough slope-styler might only be small in stature but he’s tipped to become the next big thing in the world of freestyle skiing.
A British champion at the age of eight, Haydyn has already hurled himself into the top 50 of the senior British Snow Tour rankings and is one of the sport’s brightest Olympic prospects.
And his proud father Leon expects his son’s success to snowball - although he admits there are times he can barely bring himself to watch him in action!
Leon said: “Sometimes I just can’t watch.
“I don’t mind when he does the mogul skiing [a freestyle event held on a slope of bumps and troughs].
“But it’s nervewracking to watch him take part in slopestyle which is all about the tricks and big jumps.
“The guys are jumping over metal rails and all sorts so if they fall they’re going to hurt themelves.
“It makes me nervous when I think ‘that’s my son out there’ - but you can’t hold him back.”
Haydyn, whose favourite freestyle move is a double spin known as the 720 degree mute grab, leapt to prominence by winning his age category in his first ever competition, the British Artificial Mogul Championships in 2008.
He has since won four national championships, is now a member of the Yorkshire Freestyle team and was last month named as the town’s young sports personality of the year at the annual Doncaster Sports Awards.
Leon said: “I’m proud of what he has achieved but it’s great for himself more than anything.
“As parents all you want is the best for your children, but to have someone who is so focussed and dedicated at such a young age feels very special.
“We’re on a bit of a rollercoater ride with him and it’s up to him to decide in which direction he wants to go.
“His long term aim is obviously the Olympics and a bit further down the line he’ll have to decide which discpline he wants to focus on.
“The mogul and halfpipe events are currently Olympic sports and slopestyle is hoping to become one in the near future.
“Haydyn’s already targetting the 2018 Winter Olympics and he’s confident he can do all the events!
“Good luck to him I say, but he’ll probably have to specialise at some point.”
Haydyn, a pupil at Richmond Hill Primary School, started skiing at the age of six when he was enrolled on a beginners program at SNO!zone in Castleford.
His natural talent shone through immediately and he quickly found himself on the fasttrack to success.
In January this year he was selected to join the Salomon UK Team, allowing him to train with some of the world’s top professional skiers, and he is expexted to earn an England call-up when he reaches the age of 16.
Leon said: “Haydyn really likes to win.
“He’s a good loser too, when he’s beaten by someone better than him he takes it on the chin.
“But what makes him special is that he has such a drive to do well and to keep on improving.
“He’s a good all-round sportsman.
“He’s got a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts and is something of a natural athlete.
“He’s got a bit of competition in the family nowadays because we’ve got a 15-month old son to bring up as well.
“But Haydyn also gets a lot of support from his sponsors, SNO!ZONE and Salomon UK, and he’s got the potential to go a very long way.”