Freestyle ski star Justin Taylor-Tipton, national champion at under-16 and open age level, revealed he ‘wanted to give something back’ to SportsAid as he hosted a Charity Jam in October to help support fellow young talented athletes. The Charity Jam, run and promoted by Justin, who has received SportsAid awards in 2015 and 2016, and his mum Helen Taylor-Tipton, raised £1,057.69.
“I did a charity event last year but this time I chose SportsAid because I wanted to give something back to them,” said Justin, who received his SportsAid award from Nottingham Building Society this year. “It makes me feel really good about myself that I can give them something back, because the money will go back into young athletes like me and help them like SportsAid have helped me.”
The Charity Jam took place at Stoke Ski Centre with entrance fees and general fundraising contributing towards the charity’s SportsAid Week total, while also coinciding with the 30 Days of Snowsport initiative – part of Snowsport England's GO SKI GO BOARD campaign. Competitors, aged from four up to 53, participated on the day as riders encouraged each other to learn new tricks on the slopes.
Earlier this year, Justin achieved three Under-16s podium finishes at the British Championships in Switzerland. SportsAid has a successful track record of supporting winter sport athletes. At the last Winter Olympic Games in 2014, 34 out of the 56 Team GB athletes in Sochi were current or previous SportsAid athletes, with alumna Lizzy Yarnold (TASS award) winning gold.
“They have helped me for a few years now, helping me financially and getting me out there more,” said Justin – who was helped by the Thompson Trust in 2015 by SportsAid. “I think it’s so important SportsAid support young athletes, because without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve been given. I wouldn’t be able to go abroad as often, hitting the big jumps and doing all my tricks.
“You can’t do that in the UK as the jumps are so small, so they’ve really helped me to develop my performance,” added the Kirk Hallam Academy pupil. “In May, I went to Dubai with the GB team, which was great because I’d love to compete at that level one day. I’m doing a lot of Europa Cups this year to help me get points, which will help me get into the national squad.”
This summer has been a busy one for Justin, travelling around Europe and further afield in order to train on the snow in preparation for competition season. His long-term dreams are to compete at the Winter Olympics, with the 2022 Games his main target, and the X-Games, with both of these ambitions very much front of mind for the young star.
Would you like to set up your own fundraising event on behalf of SportsAid? Please contact Grace Hughes, SportsAid's Athlete Liaison and Events Officer, on Grace@SportsAid.org.uk to register. The charity also has places for next year’s London Marathon, RideLondon-Surrey 100 and 46, Great North Run and Vitality London 10,000.