Raising athletes x 2 : A mom of skier twins

Fynnlay and Cassius Loupis started skiing when they were 8 years old. Now they are 11 and are a part of the SkatePro freeride ski team. How is that possible? Well, you know what they say - behind every successful man stands a strong woman. In this case - behind both successful twins stands a super mom.

Paula Bancroft is the proud ‘ski mom’ of the twins and we got to talk to her about what it takes to raise talented athletes. To begin with, she didn’t want them to sit at home, playing Xbox all day. So with a pinch of positive thinking and a lot of love, she is carving, what seems to be, future X-games competitors.

She wanted them to be active, so one day, she drove the boys to the local slope and clicked in the skies together with them. They all took their lessons but then the boys didn’t want to go down the regular side of the slope anymore.

Instead, they went where all the jumps and rails are. From that point on, Paula spent most of her time at the bottom of the slope, encouraging and supporting her twins. This is her story...

S: If being a skier mom were a product, what would the ingredients on the back of the package say?

P: The back of the package would say: ‘Don’t wrap your kids in cotton wool’. You have to let kids learn to navigate danger themselves. You have to put an element of trust in them.

S: Definitely different from what we see on the back normally. It is always something like ‘Handle with care’ or ‘Drink responsibly’. But isn’t the trouble double with the twins?

P: It’s more double the cuddles, I’d say. With them being twins it is actually really good for their sport because they are not really interested so much in competing against other people, it is always about competing against each other.

S: That leads me to - When they compete against each other how do you choose whom to cheer for?

P: You can’t, you can’t. The boys are equally talented so that mean they are as good as each other in any kind of sport they do so it is very difficult.

S: So what is the mood at home when you come back from a competition and one of them did a bit better than the other one?

P: Actually quite good! But at first, I almost cried. I was so upset because one of them, obviously, beat the other one in a competition. And this first time I thought ‘I can’t do this, this is just awful. Just seeing your son upset because his brother won.

But now it’s become easier because they share who is going to beat who because it isn’t always the same twin. So when we go to a competition one has to beat the other one but it could be either of them because they both work so hard on the tricks. And, I mean, it could be either of them.

S: Nice! And we all know moms are supernatural creatures, and apparently, you are one of them as well. What superhero would you choose to be?

P: I think it would be Positive Thinking. The hero of Positive Thinking. So whenever they doubt themselves, they can get the positive side of it to stop doubting.

S: And because you have twins, you can choose an extra superpower. It’s a bonus.

P: Ok, I’d have the power of...that’s a real tricky one…

S: It could be for yourself.

P: Ok, well, resilience (laughs)

S: A good one. And can you walk me through a day with the twins when you are getting ready for a competition or generally training?

P: Sure. Usually, when it is a training day we have to drive, could be up to, two hours or so to get to where we are training. So we always make sure that the boys get a good breakfast in the morning and then we’ll set off, drive over there.

And that’s it, then I hand them over to the coaches and step back, and let the coaches do what they need to do.

Eventually, the boys will come off for a drink or snacks and then will go back out. We have those times when they get frustrated or they want to do something but they can’t quite work out how to do it but eventually, with positive thinking, they get there.

S: So it is a good power you picked there.

P: (laughs) Oh yeah.

S: What do you dream of?

P: My dream would be that we could travel more with the skiing so they can experience more mountains, parks, and different countries. We do everything that we can within the UK. I drive them everywhere - we go from the bottom of the country, from England, all the way up to Scotland.

We have driven everywhere for them to compete, or for them just to ski, or for coaching. But it would be really nice to travel more out of the country.

S: And what do they dream of?

P: They dream of being in the X-games. They just dream of the X-games...

S: We from SkatePro will all be there, cheering for them for sure! And that said, the whole office made me ask this: We all know the soccer moms, and you are the skier mom but do you, as well, drive an SUV?

P: Well, I don’t (laughs). I do need to upgrade my car though because now we got bigger skis and they won’t fit in my boot anymore.

Now Paula and the twins are in LAAX, Switzerland to compete in the Brits Championship where the boys will be competing for the first time out of the UK, and also in a snowpark up in the mountains. We secured us a promise for some cool photos and also a follow-up story, to see how it all went. So stay tuned!

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