Interview: May 2013
When Matthew Rampton approached Middleton to find a country house in the UK, he made it clear that enabling his children to pursue their ambition as downhill ski racers was key.
Having lived in Switzerland since 2009, the Ramptons’ four children have grown up with skis on their feet. Clemmie (11) and Tom (9) have already shown a level of skill and commitment that allows them to think big. And while there could hardly be a better place to live than Montreux, Switzerland, the Ramptons also felt that, from an academic point of view, being in the English system was
The brief to Middleton, therefore, included finding a country house and farm within reasonable distance of an airport for travel to and from Switzerland, but most importantly, a good academic school where their skiing ambitions would be regarded positively.
“Once you hit the age of 12 or 13 there are no half-measures in ski racing, as you’ll be up
against kids who train every day. We knew that, for our kids to remain competitive at this level, they would need to spend the winter season training in the Alps, and we needed the support of whichever UK school we chose, for this to happen.”
“Middleton helped us to find pretty much the perfect property in Suffolk, and also helped research the boarding school which has been very supportive of the children’s skiing programmes. It’s not easy finding a house from overseas with limited days in the UK, but Middleton took the strain for me, handling the search, the purchase and all of the detail superbly from beginning to end.”
The eldest daughter, Clemmie, will be attending the British Ski Academy in Chamonix. The Academy promises ‘a tutorial system and student/tutor ratio of 6:1 to ensure that trainees return to their UK schools level with their classmates’. Tom will be enrolling at the Verbier International School, and race training with the Philippe Roux Club, Verbier.
“We’re very pragmatic about our children’s skiing ambitions. But we didn’t want them to be thwarted as long as the desire and ambition remained. So far, they have had very much the best of both worlds, and we have made an investment in a country house and farming business which has been a key part of that.”