Batley water skiier Jays secures European bronze

Batley water skiier Danny Jays won a bronze medal in the slalom event at the European Youth Championships held in the South of France. Picture: Nick Parkin
Batley water skiier Danny Jays won a bronze medal in the slalom event at the European Youth Championships held in the South of France. Picture: Nick Parkin

Batley teenager Danny Jays returned from the European Youth Waterski Championships in the south of France with a medal.

The 16-year-old won bronze in the slalom competition in the Under-17s age category.

Only the best water skiers in each country are selected to compete at these international tournaments and Jays, who is the current Under-17 British Slalom Champion, was one of four skiers competing for Great Britain his age category.

He beat strong opposition to take his place on the podium with a personal best score.

His achievement is all the greater because he took up slalom waterskiing just four years ago.

The Elliott Hudson student competed in all three events being contested at the Championships: slalom, tricks and jumping.

He came 13th in jump and 15th in tricks and finished ninth overall.

In the jumping event, he also beat his previous personal best distance, leaping 31.6 metres (103 feet) off the ramp.

But the event in which he excels is the slalom. He rounded three buoys on an 11.25 metre rope to win bronze – the best score he has ever achieved in competition.

This length of rope is shorter than the distance from the boat to the turn buoy so the skier has to use his whole body to get round it, with the boat travelling at speeds of up to 36mph.

Jays learnt to water ski at White Rose Water Ski Club in Elland but he also trains at sites in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

His parents Craig and Ange travelled to France for the Championships and said how proud they were of him and that he has worked extremely hard to get to this level.