THE recent icy blast has been seen as a real treat for one local prospect.
Fifteen-year-old Sofie Hopkins has been using the freezing conditions to hone her skills in the sport of biathlon.
Having taken it up just before Christmas, Sofie already has big aims of representing her country.
The Scarborough College pupil has competed in two military march and shoots, as well as shining in the regional cross-country running competition.
By taking up biathlon, she is combining an interest in both, as it involves a seven-and-a-half kilometre ski and two sets of shooting at targets.
Sofie said: “I wanted to combine my interest in running and shooting, so I spoke to an army friend of my dad’s and he suggested biathlon as he did it for three years in the army.
“My dad bought me two pairs of Nordic roller skis and I started training every weekend at Dalby Forest. First I run two miles, then bike a further four, ski skate six and then go swimming.
“This is all together with the Combined Cadet Force and the Army Cadet Force, running club, netball and studying for nine GCSEs.
“I am hoping to go to Oberhof in Germany this year and train at the Indoor Biathlon Ski Centre, which is used by the Olympic and World Championship teams.
“Training costs between £2,000 and £3,000 per year. I have set myself the three-year goal and believe I will one day be representing my country.
“This can only happen If I can secure a sponsor.”
If you’re interested in sponsoring Sofie, contact her dad Frank on 07943205376.