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Aspiring roller hockey stars receive a boost

Lifestyle | Article

Three young aspiring roller hockey stars have received a boost to their quest for fame with the award of £300 sports grants from Peterborough City Council to help them attend a top-level training camp and tournament in Portugal.

Brothers Ashley, 14, Jack, 12, and Matthew, 11, Heyworth, from Ferryview, Orton Wistow, Peterborough, have received help from the city council’s Lottery Grant Fund to join other local players and officials on a training weekend at San Maria d’Fiera near Oporto from Thursday to Monday (7 to 11 February).

Roller hockey

Their dad, Steve Heyworth, said: “Roller hockey is a brilliant sport but it costs so much to provide three youngsters with all the kit they need. Matthew is training to be a goal-keeper so the experience will be really helpful.

“These grants are a lifeline in helping the boys get to Portugal and I have also had support from my employer, E-Leather Ltd. However, with more tournaments coming up we are now seeking long-term sponsorship deals.”

“Every year the national coach invites British roller hockey teams to train at top-class facilities and play alongside some of the world-leading Portuguese players,” said Peterborough league secretary Jane Carter. “For the first time we shall also be taking our under-17s intermediate team to a major tournament at Sesimbra, near Lisbon, over the Easter bank holiday.

“Being invited to attend these events in Portugal is fantastic recognition from the national coach for what our local players are achieving.”

Peterborough’s roller hockey heritage dates from 1966 when games were played at the now-closed Wirrina sports stadium. However, the sport has retained enthusiastic local support and a Peterborough team entered the national Division 3 league last September.

There are also a Minors team for under-13s, two intermediate teams for under-15s and a school-boys team for under-17s. The full squad of 27 registered players train each Thursday and Friday evenings at Bushfield Sports Centre, where the English national squad also trains each month.

“Any youngsters who are interested in playing are welcome to come along to our beginners’ session from 5.30 pm to 7 pm on Friday nights,” said Jane. “Our coach, Arthur Corr, is an inspiration to all the players puts lots of time and effort into supporting all the teams and beginners.”

Jane manages three of the teams and her son, Michael, 13, was voted 2007 national under-13 player of the year and now plays in the under 15s,under 17s, and Division 3 leagues. Another player, Sam Cayley, has again been selected for the national squad in te European competitions after making his national debut last year.

Michael is the third member of Jane’s family to take an interest in the sport. Peter, 17, is a former player and Lucy, 19, developed an interest as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme activities.

Peterborough City Council Leader, Councillor John Peach, said: “We are pleased that our local roller hockey teams are being so successful in helping young people pursue healthy sports and we wish them every success in their training and competitions in Portugal.”

February 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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