In New Zealand’s 2014 Winter season he was named Giant Slalom Champion, Slalom Champion, and Slalom Indoor Champion in the respective NZ National U14 categories. In the Northern hemisphere 2014/2015 season he placed 1st in the U14 section of the Menzli Cup in Obersaxen, Switzerland.
He was selected to represent New Zealand as a member of the Youth Team at the Whistler Cup International Youth Race, Canada. In preparation for this race series, Will trained and raced in California in the Far West U14 Championships at Squaw Valley winning 1st Place in the USSA Far West U14 Super G Championships. In the Whistler Cup International Youth Race he placed 10th in the U14 Giant Slalom and U14 Slalom. In the New Zealand 2016 Winter season, he was named New Zealand National U16 Super G Champion and gained 2nd place in the NZYS Slalom.
The achievements don’t end there. In the past few months, while attending a training camp in Obersaxen, Will has raced four inter-regional races throughout Switzerland as a member of the New Zealand Youth team, and found podium on three occasions with a 2nd place and two 1st places. He also raced the British U16 Championships with a strong field and gained two podiums, 3rd and a 2nd.
The highlight of the trip, for him, was representing New Zealand internationally in Andorra, Trofeu Borrufa, where he gained a 3rd place on the international stage.
Will’s parents, Jen and Grant, are incredibly proud of his achievements on the national and international stage, albeit a little nervous each time they see him compete!
“Our aim is to support him emotionally in every way we can by sharing his passion and his goals: doing the best we can to understand the sport, preparation and pathway, and then giving Will the best opportunities reasonably possible,” explain Jen and Grant.
“At the same time, we set a non-negotiable rule where acceptable academic results are the number one priority. Once this is established and respected; providing a clear, calm and positive environment for him to naturally develop the skills and practices required to achieve in both his academic studies and his sport, is our focus.”
Will is part of King’s College’s Elite Sports Mentoring Programme introduced this year to enable students to perform equally well in both academic and sporting arenas.
“The support by the College for Will is outstanding and truly revolutionary,” says Jen. “Both Grant and I are very grateful to our Headmaster Simon Lamb for bringing this awesome initiative to the College.”
“With Will now in Year 12 the academic workload is so much greater and with the intense support from the College on a daily basis, Will can travel, train and compete while keeping up to date with his course workload.”
King’s College caught up with Will to get some insight into his life as a high performance athlete, whilst juggling his student commitments at King’s.
King’s College: How did you get into skiing, and more specifically high performance skiing?
William Cashmore: I started skiing when I was 3 at Mount Ruapehu and I first raced when I was eight years old for my primary school ski team. I guess the high performance skiing came gradually as I began to enjoy racing.
KC: What is your training schedule like?
WC: During the ski season I am on snow, training six times a week and training strength multiple times a week depending on the week’s routine.
KC: What is the hardest part about being a high performance athlete while at school and how has King’s helped you overcome these challenges?
WC: The most difficult task is balancing training and school work. When I am away, King’s has provided me with a structure for my school work and have catered to my needs brilliantly when I have to take time away. This has allowed me to build routines and keep up to date with schoolwork whilst I am training/racing.
KC: What are your plans after you leave King’s?
WC: Once I leave King’s I ultimately want to represent New Zealand in world cup level skiing. However, in the more immediate future I continue to juggle school and skiing and I plan to study engineering at university.
KC: What are some key mental and core skills high performance athletes need in order to succeed in elite sport?
WC: Probably one of the key skills is the ability to be disciplined in your approach to training and racing: have a deep understanding of the sport and what is needed to be able to win, both technically and emotionally.
KC: What is your advice to junior athletes who aspire to high performance, elite level in sports?
WC: Enjoy the sport and keep working towards a bigger goal.
For more information on King’s Elite Sports Mentoring Programme, please contact our Sports Director, Jim Potts via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.