OVER the winter, talented Welsh skiers have not only been honing their skills in the Alps, but also doing their bit to promote their country’s fabulous food exports while turning a corner of Switzerland into little Wales for a week.

For 14 years, the Welsh Alpine Championships have been held in the Dents du Midi region.

This year, the Hotel Suisse in Champéry played host to competitors, from children in the under-10 category to the senior age groups.

To support the event and help raise the profile of PGI Welsh Lamb in the important Swiss market, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) arranged sponsorship for the awards dinner, as well as providing promotional material.

“For many years now, Wales’s top skiers have competed in this region of Switzerland, and in the process have made their country well-known in the area,” said HCC’s export market development officer Kate Patten.

“This year, they were able to bring an extra taste of Wales to their Swiss hosts, and show how Welsh lamb can be a great component of an alpine athlete’s diet.”

Kate added: “Switzerland has been a growing market for Welsh meat in recent years, particularly in the hotel and restaurant sector.

"A number of Swiss food distributors and chefs have travelled to Wales to see how lamb and beef is produced here, and we look forward to continuing to build the profile of Welsh meat.”

The British Embassy in Berne has supported the Welsh Alpine Championships for the last few years.

“As a Welshman, it is an honour to be able to support the championships again this year,” said Henry Geraint Evans, head of policy at the British Embassy, Berne.

“A priority for the Embassy is supporting the regional links between Switzerland and the UK. The championships are a fantastic opportunity not only to promote the sporting and cultural links between Wales and Champéry, but also to promote Welsh business and high-quality Welsh produce here in Switzerland.

"We are most grateful for the support of HCC this year, and the competitors and guests clearly enjoyed this taste of Wales!”