A village teenager has been called up to represent Great Britain in a sport he has only been playing for two years.
Juan Stone, 16, from Everdon, has been called up to the under-16s GB team for inline roller hockey with a trip to America later in the year.
He said: “I got told about the trials by a team manager and I went along and tried out.
“In the end they offered me a place on the under-18s or the under-16s. I chose the under-16s because it would be my last chance, and I’d get an opportunity to shine. They wrote to me to tell me I’d been selected, but my mum intercepted the letter and hid it until Christmas Day. When I read it I was absolutely over the moon – I was smiling for some time afterwards. It’s a big achievement.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work; I have college during the day, and I go to the gym. In the evenings I have training or matches, and when I get home I have homework to do. But it’s good to see it paying off.
“The goal is to play ice hockey professionally, and along the way I’ll do IT .”
His mother, Ley, said: “Juan’s only been playing for two years. He started off playing ice hockey and really enjoyed that, so I took him to roller hockey and it was soon obvious Juan had a real talent.
“At the moment he’s playing roller hockey for the Milton Keynes Seniors, and he plays ice hockey for MK too.
“It’s not been easy as he’s gotten so good so quickly that some teams haven’t wanted to play him ahead of others who have been there longer.
“As a single mum with another child as well it’s hard as we have to travel all over the country for matches.
“With this trip to America they have to have an adult chaperone so we need to raise £4,000 and are looking for sponsorship.”
Juan now has Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JuanStoneGB, for anyone interested in supporting him.