FOUR years ago Charlie Oakes from Cleckheaton answered an advertisement in his local paper to join the Spen Valley Flyers Roller Hockey team.
Now he is trying out for the England Schoolboys squad and his family couldn’t be prouder,
“He plays football but we saw this advert and decided to go and he hasn’t looked back,” said mum Pam, who works at the Santander bank, Commercial Street, Brighouse.
Now playing in goal for the Under 16 and Under 18 team, Charlie has already travelled to Portugal where the sport is so highly-regarded that youngsters learn to skate before they can walk.
“Children aged 11 plus can go to Portugal to play and he went last year for the first time and will be going again in December this year,” added Pam.
“It is all amateur so we have to pay for everything ourselves.
“He goes down to Peterborough once a month to train with England which started in January this year.”
Charlie began with the England team at grade one and has soon gone to grade four and to five.
This is the first year he can say he officially plays in the England Schoolboys team because they are taking on children born in the year 1997 or 1998, for which Charlie just scrapes in as the youngest, turning 14 in November.
He is having try outs with the squad and is against four other goalies, but Pam has been told, that he could be selected as the teams number two keeper.
Another achievement for the Whitcliffe Mount pupil is that every year three counties come together for a weekend tournament and every year that Charlie has put his name forward he has been picked.
Training every Saturday, Charlie is as dedicated as they come and is now looking for sponsorship to help him go further.
“Next year with trips and new kit and everything else needed, the 15 children in Charlie’s team will need around £36,000,” added Pam.
“So we are now looking for sponsorship for the team which would be greatly appreciated if anyone could help.
Another of Charlie’s big fans is his sister, 18-year-old Harriet, who has just started university at Leeds Trinity.
Echo Sport wish Charlie all the best for the future and in his roller hockey.