Cleckheaton teenager Amy targets water skiing glory

Amy Whaling, from Cleckheaton, has just returned from the European Championships in the Ukraine, where she competed for Great Britain Under-14s.
Amy Whaling, from Cleckheaton, has just returned from the European Championships in the Ukraine, where she competed for Great Britain Under-14s.

A SPENBOROUGH teenager is making a big splash in the world of water skiing.

Amy Whaling, from Cleckheaton, has just returned from competing in the European Championships in the Ukraine where she helped Great Britain finish sixth of the 13 teams in the Under-14s event.

Amy began water skiing at the age of nine years old after visiting family members at the Humber Bridge Water Ski Club.

The Whitcliffe Mount student showed a natural talent for the sport and attempted several disciplines including kneeboard, wakeboard, slalom skiing and eventually trick skiing.

Amy competed in her first regional Cutting Edge competition in 2016 when she helped Yorkshire and Humberside Sharks become team champions.

Tournament skiing comprises of up to three disciplines, slalom, trick and jump and at the end of 2016 Amy’s family enlisted the help of a British Waterski coach, Nick McGarry from Whitworth Waterski Academy in Rochdale.

Amy trained hard and entered various competitions during 2017 when she became the most improved slalom skier across the country.

Amy won her slalom division and was the overall club championship winner at the academy and helped them win the Cutting Edge team championships for a second successive year, while she also won all her individual events.

After a successful year, Amy decided to join the White Rose Waterski Club in Elland to enable her to train more often.

She continued to ski throughout a bitterly cold winter, mainly to improve her trick skiing, but she had ambitions to get into the British squad and be chosen for the Under-14s British Waterski team to compete in the European Championships.

She travelled across the country entering many competitions and in July she was selected as one of the four Under-14s for Great Britain.

Before travelling to the Ukraine, Amy entered the British Nationals at Gosfield Lake in Essex.

Competing at her first nationals, Amy was second in the trick and jump events and was fourth in the slalom, finishing third overall and narrowly missing out on second by just five points behind good friends and British teammates Lucy Roberts and Molly Lee.

Amy is currently top of her slalom division and first in the trick handicap, while her current Under-14 girls European rankings are 15th out of 78 in slalom, 15th out of 70 in tricks, and 17th out of 27 in jump.

Despite competing on the British team, there is little funding for waterskiing at this level and competitors must find their own sponsorship.

Amy’s proud mum Emily Whaling said: “Amy’s passion for the sport is beyond words and there is no doubt that she wants to go all the way and one day become a world class waterskier.

“If anybody would like to sponsor her, she would be grateful.”

If any company or individual is interested in sponsoring Amy’s journey to water skiing glory they can get in touch via e-mail ewhaling30@sky.com.