A Wirral schoolboy has his sights set on representing his country at the Winter Olympics after winning two golds at a skiing competition in Italy.

Raffael Appino, from Bidston Village, took first place in the Under 12s Grand Slalom at the British Schools Alpine Open Ski Championships in Pila, Vallee D’Aoste on February 5.

The 11-year-old, who attends Prenton Preparatory School, also came second in the Under 12s Slalom. Another gold followed for the overall fastest skier in his age category across the two races.

He said: “I was very happy to win gold as the Grand Slalom it is my favourite race. One day I would love to represent Great Britain in the Winter Olympics.”

Wirral Globe: Raffael on the podium with his three medalsRaffael on the podium with his three medals

The youngster has been skiing since he was three years old and is lucky to live in-between Wirral and France.

Two years ago he first entered the ISA School Championships in Hemel Hempstead and in 2018 he came 10th in his first national indoor championships, before finishing third a year later at the same event.

He trains at the Chill Factor in Manchester and when he is in France, with the Club Des Sports La Tania in the Ski Resort Courchevel.

During the winter he spends most of his time in France training three days a week during term time and everyday during the school holidays. On his return to Wirral he will resume training evenings at the Chill Factor.

Prenton Preparatory Headteacher Mike Jones said: “He performed brilliantly in all of the events. Everyone at Prenton Prep is very proud of Raffael.

“His classmates were absolutely delighted to hear about his success.”