My name is Kasete Naufahu Skeen and I am a Tongan skier attempting to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. If you know of the tiny tropical island paradise that is Tonga then this may seem unlikely. If you knew me six months ago then this may seem unbelievable but it is real and it is happening and I need your help.
I was born in 1982 London, UK, to a Tongan father and an English mother. I’m not by any stretch of the imagination an experienced skier. Nor have I lead a life of athletic pursuit in fact the truth is quite the opposite. Until six months ago I smoked, I drank too much, I ate badly and I didn’t exercise at all. But since then I have begun a dramatic transformation that has seen me quit smoking, start exercising, revolutionise my eating habits and loose twenty five kilograms; all in the pursuit of my dream to represent Tonga.
At the end of September I will quit my job as the Operations Manager at the prestigious Opera Holland Park festival in London and I will leave my home to move to the Alps to dedicate myself to training. I am fully committed and determined to succeed. I have already made significant progress with my physical preparation but now as winter approaches so the real challenge begins.
Starting in October I will undertake an intensive six week training camp with former Italian national team coach Hermann Aigner. This will be essential to prepare myself for the coming racing season. From December I will begin competing in International Ski Federation sanctioned races in order to achieve the required points total to qualify for the Olympic games.
My qualification is by no means certain and I must train hard and compete over and over again until I achieve the goal. To do this I need your help and donations to fund training, travelling, competing and living costs.
Only with your help can I realise my full potential and only with your help will I have the best chance to succeed. No Tongan has ever competed in the Alpine skiing disciplines at an Olympic games. This is your opportunity to be part of history.
Every donation counts no matter how big or small. Help spread the word remember and share my campaign with friends, family and colleagues and on social media.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.