A SUNDERLAND university graduate aims to lead his team of young disabled footballers to Olympic glory this summer.
Bobby Coltman, 27, founded the Beamish Dynamos football club with his dad, Tom, seven years ago.
Now the team has qualified for the Los Angeles Special Olympics World Summer Games in July, and are busy raising money for the once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Bobby, who now teaches maths at Sedgefield Community College, said: “The Special Olympics is a huge boost for us.
“The lads have trained regularly from a young age as a group, which has made a real difference to the way they play together on the pitch, and also how they continuously push each other in training.
“They have eaten up every challenge and opportunity we have given them, and their success is down to their positive attitude towards developing their skills.
“But, I am delighted and proud to be sharing the experience with them and the rest of the team.
“It’s not every day that you get to say you are representing your country on an international level.
“We’re excited to see what the competition is like out there, we know we have a very strong squad going out, but it’s impossible to know what we are up against until the tournament is on.
“It would be special to see the lads pick up a medal, so they have something they can keep and use to look back on this landmark in their lives.
“Hopefully we can use this to inspire another generation of players to get involved with our club.”
Each of the players needs to raise £2,500 to cover the costs of flights, kit, insurance and squad training weekends.
Anyone interesed in sponsoring the team should contact Bobby by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.