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MUM OF ELLIE SOUTTER SPEAKS OUT TO HELP OTHERS
Thursday October 10, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The mother of the GB team snowboarder who took her life on her 18th birthday has given an interview to the BBC for Mental Health Day.

 

 

 

 

Lorraine Denman says she wants to encourage people who are going through problems to talk to someone.

Ellie Soutter was one of Britain's most talented young snowboarders.

She won bronze in the snowboard cross at the European Youth Winter Olympics in 2017 and had been on the podium at the Freeride Junior World Tour.

In July last year, she was found dead in woodland near her home in the French ski resort of Les Gets.

Ellie's father, Tony Soutter, has said that Ellie had been worried about funding and missing a flight to get to a training.  She felt she had let people down.

After her death he set up a foundation to help fund other young winter athletes and raise awareness of the stresses they face.

So far it has awarded two grants.

Ellie's mum Lorraine Denman told Sally Nugent on BBC Breakfast that her daughter was a worrier.

Lorraine Denman & Ellie SoutterLorraine Denman & Ellie Soutter - photo BBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"She worried about people, she worried about money, she worried about was I OK, was her dad OK. She worried about whether she was going to meet expectations," she said.

But she said to the outside world, it appeared as if Ellie had everything.

"As parents, we have to take that as a responsibility as well, because it was easy for us to turn around and say 'Ellie, you've got nothing to worry about, everything is going to be fine, you've got so much to look forward to, you've got this coming up, you've got that', but actually, I think people have to listen and read between the lines," Lorraine Denman told the BBC.

Ellie SoutterEllie Soutter after her bronze medal at the European Youth Winter Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said that she hoped speaking out would help others and that Ellie's death would not be in vain.

"I am a voice for Ellie now, and I have to move forward and make other people aware that she couldn't say how she felt for whatever reason, but I can now encourage people to speak up, to share or to talk to their parents or their friends if they are having any problems, and I think that is what is pushing me on."

Read full details of the interview on the BBC Sport Website.

The issue of mental health in snowsports was highlighted recently in a Snowsport England campaign.

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