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On the crest of a wave; Water-skier Dominic in the British team for European Championship.

Byline: JOANNE DOUGLAS

WHAT started off as a hobby has turned water-skier Dominic Wheldrick into one of the country's best.

The 20-year-old from Meltham first took to the water on skis a decade ago and now he's been selected to represent his country in the European Championships.

He described his first experience on the water as a big challenge, but said the excitement and danger spurred him on.

Next month he will compete for Team GB in the slalom event at the European Under 21 Championships.

Backed by the British Water-Ski Federation, Dominic will travel to France for the competition and leaves on August 10 - the day before his 21st birthday.

He said: "I started when I was about 10 with my family in Manchester. Dad thought it would be a good thing for us all to do and we got a boat and went up to Lake Windermere every weekend.

"At first it was a big challenge but also very rewarding when you get it right.

"The excitement with the speed on the water and the danger aspect made me just want to keep trying.

"It was only ever a hobby back then but as I've got into it it's become more."

His 19-year-old sister Harriet, represented Great Britain in knee-boarding, but Dominic jokes he's much better than she is, It was when Dominic was 13, and first met talent spotters, that he stepped up training and began competing.

He's since left the family home in Meltham to move to * COMPETING: Windsor where he trains daily.

Dominic added: "I'm over the moon about being selected. It's the first time I've been picked and it's been a long road getting here.

"I'm training every day out on the water, running and going to the gym. I'm also having to watch what I eat.

"It's going to be a tough challenge but one I really want."

Dominic will travel to Espace Nautique, Etang de Forgeneuve in the Meuzac area of France to compete in the European Championships.

He now plans to start a sports and leisure management degree at Brighton University in September and will fit water skiing in around his studies.

Over the past few years Dominic has taken jobs during summer months at ski schools in Britain and trains throughout the winter in Louisiana, USA.

Two years ago he worked in Malaysia and assisted in running the Putrajaya Ski centre during the World Water-Ski competition.

Currently Dominic is working at Liquid Leisure Water-Ski and Wakeboard Centre near Heathrow.

His parents, Rod and Dawn Wheldrick, continue to water ski themselves at the White Rose Water Ski Club in Elland.

Wheldrick He's been backed by sponsorship from family, friends and the Manchester-based CBG Group Insurance Brokers Ltd, along with coach Andy Knowles from the Whitworth Wa t e r - s k i Centre.

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RIDING HIGH: Dominic Wheldrick in action on the water
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 23, 2010
Words:483
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