[attach]5397[/attach]Branksome Hall is like a fresh snowfall on the slopes to Dominique Doering and Jacquie Flannery.
The two grade 12 Highlanders gave up their spots on the International Ski Federation (or FIS) circuit to represent their school in their final year. They’ve been students at Branksome since grade 1, but it wasn’t until this year they donned the Green and Black.
“I would say it was a tough decision,” Doering said. “It was a really big aspect of my life and it was definitely challenging to leave but I am really happy with my decision.
“It’s nice to spend my last year actually at the school and be with my friends and teachers.”
With all the travelling, including Flannery’s last FIS race in Stoneham, Quebec, last summer, she’s glad to be spending more time a little closer to home.
“It was getting a little hectic with missing a lot of school — because of the FIS schedule you have to travel a lot,” Flannery said. “I still really love racing so the school team was just a really great opportunity to continue racing but be at the school more.”
Both Doering and Flannery got their starts in the alpine world at young ages and through long trips up Highway 400 to Collingwood’s Georgian Peaks Ski Club.
But their inspirations vary.
Flannery looks up to Canada’s legends of the slopes.
“One of my great heroes is Nancy Greene,” she said. “When my family and I went out for a ski trip to B.C. and we were actually at the mountain where she was at.
“So I got to ski with her, got to know her a little more, which was really great.”
Doering’s inspiration is closer to home.
“My dad was on the Ontario team so he was a big ski fanatic so I think that’s what drew me into it — his love for skiing,” she said.
Now with their focus on schoolwork and the team, the two look to lead the Highlanders’ downhillers to OFSAA under the tutelage of coach Barbara Glennie.
“Even though I’m in grade 12, I’ve been skiing with girls who are in grade 9, 10 and 11,” Doering said. “So now I’m meeting girls that I was not familiar with before.
“It’s nice to ski with girls who share the same passion.”