Queenstown’s best female ski racer has been given the ultimate reward for hard work on the slopes.
Taylor Rapley (right), 21, is the New Zealand National Women’s Champion after producing stellar results during the Kiwi racing
And she’s been granted a scholarship at the University of Vermont in the United States to ski with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ski team.
Rapley – who’s enjoyed a successful training season – recently won the giant slalom and slalom races at the national champs at Coronet Peak, which went towards her receiving the overall title.
“Winning the title was a bonus – it’s quite cool to be considered a national champion in your sport,” she says.
Rapley has been training with national team coach Nils Coberger, who has this year set up his Coberger Racing Academy for some of the country’s top ski racers as well as emerging junior world champion athletes from Australia, Austria, France and Canada.
Coberger’s pleased with Rapley’s results: “Winning the national titles was a big goal of Taylor’s. She’s trained well all season.”
Rapley has juggled training with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology through Massey University. She’s cramming in two extra research papers before December and still needs to sit an SAT test before her entry to the US university is confirmed.
Rapley plans to start the second semester on January 16, but will leave Queenstown earlier to begin training.
All going well, she’ll study at Vermont for at least a semester and the scholarship will be reassessed according to her study and snow results.
“The NCAA ski team is ranked the best in the country, they won the NCAA National Collegiate Championships last year,” she says.
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