Ella Taylor-Tipton is looking to make waves on the snow
Freestyle skier Ella Taylor-Tipton is facing a long road to recovery, but the Derbyshire youngster is confident her major injury setback will make her stronger in the long run.
The 14-year-old, who lives in West Hallam, was competing at the UK’s premier dry slope ski and snowboard event, Go Big or Go Home, in Glasgow in June when she injured her knee.
Despite the initial prognosis suggesting it was only a sprain, further scans revealed the Kirk Hallam Community Academy pupil had ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
It was a devastating blow for Taylor-Tipton, who was due to travel to Mount Hood in Oregon this summer after receiving a scholarship for the week-long Windells Ski Camp.
But while she admits it has been difficult not being able to do the sport she loves, Taylor-Tipton is adamant she can get back to her best after she has recovered from surgery.
“My last event was Go Big or Go Home in Glasgow in June, which went alright until I fell over and ended up in hospital as I ruptured by ACL,” she said.
“I ended up coming third even though I picked up the injury in the qualifiers. I got through to the final, but obviously I couldn’t compete because of the injury.
“I’ve got a lot of rehab and physio to do before I have my surgery and then I’ve got nine months of rehab after that, but I don’t have a date yet for surgery.
“It’s quite frustrating as all the time I’m like, ‘Can I go back skiing, when can I go skiing?’ but the rehab will make me stronger in the long run.
“This is my first proper injury and it’s weird not being able to go out and compete and train, but when my brother is skiing I’ll go out and watch him as it makes me happy just watching.
“I was awarded a scholarship in America for the Windells Camp on Mount Hood in Oregon for a ski week and I was meant to be going last week but because of my injury I can’t go.
“They’ve said I can have the scholarship for next year now. There’s another competition in March but I may not be ready for that, so Windells will probably be my next big goal.”
Taylor-Tipton, whose brother Justin also competes in freestyle skiing, is part of Snowsport England’s Park & Pipe performance pathway and will continue to undergo theory lessons during her rehab.
Her mum Helen said the irony of her daughter’s injury was that it occurred the week after she had started a course learning about ACL injury preventative exercises.
“It’s usually around nine months before she can start gently skiing, but 11 months before she can do freestyle because although the muscles are strong the ACL has to heal,” she said.
“It’s probably one of the longest injuries to get over and a lot of GB guys have had it, it’s something that is quite common unfortunately and it’s a shame it happened when it did.”
Taylor-Tipton’s cause is also being helped by The Nottingham Building Society, who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 local athletes as they try to find their ‘time to shine’, with each receiving £750 of funding.
Having already donated £240,000 to SportsAid to help athletes buy equipment, travel to events and receive the training they need to be the best they can, The Nottingham Building Society are now also helping athletes on the path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and beyond.
And Taylor-Tipton said the help she has received from The Nottingham Building Society has been vital to her progression and will also assist with the costs during her rehabilitation.
“The funding makes big difference for me as we use it for my Windells Camp and now we’re using part of it for my physio, for my recovery,” she said. “It means a lot I’ve got it.”