An Amersham schoolgirl competed in an international waterski competition earlier this month.
Lilli Deste, 17, who attends Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, represented Team GB at the IWWF Junior Waterski World Championships on January 5-8. She finished 16th overall, while Team GB came 9th out of 22 countries.
Lilli flew all the way to Chile to take part in the contest – her sixth international tournament – alongside five other skiers competing for Team GB.
Throughout the autumn term, Lilli had been training hard ahead of the competition. Her weekdays were spent skiing at local lakes, and she travelled to Lincoln on the weekends to practice at Hazelwood Ski World.
She spent three weeks before the championships in Florida at Matt Rini’s Waterski School, training and living with the British and Canadian teams. She then travelled to Chile to practice at the official site.
Training consisted of three or four sets a day, one of each discipline, often arriving at the lake before sunrise to get the best conditions.
Lilli is an overall skier, meaning she trains and competes in all three events – slalom, tricks and jump.
Mr John Deadman, director of sport at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, said: “We’re delighted for Lilli and have allowed her a good amount of flexibility over her time with us so that she can complete the training and competitions necessary to make it into Team GB.”
Lilli started skiing and competing in novice tournaments in 2017 and was selected for her first Europeans as an U14 in 2019.
Since then, she has competed in several international tournaments for Team GB, including the U17 and U21 European Championships last summer.
Photo credit: Ismael Herrero