A teenager who was supported by a charity to further his sporting career has gone on to be crowned a fencing world champion.
Josh Waddell, from Sunderland, is now the under 17 world champion in Epee after winning gold in the event at a contest held in Sharjah, Dubai.
The 16-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, competes in wheelchair fencing and has been helped on his sporting journey to the top by the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.
The Venerable Bede Academy pupil is currently competing in the Senior World Cups which he hopes will help boost his profile and qualify him for a place in Team GB’s squad for the next Parlaympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
He has already competed in Georgia, Japan and later this month he is travelling to Pisa, Italy.
His mum Caroline said: “Josh trains really hard and has given up a lot for his sport so becoming a world champion is thoroughly deserved.
“We are very proud of him.”
Josh has been ranked Number 2 in the Under 17 Foil event and 3rd in the World Under 23 category.
He trains under coach Laszlo Jakab with sessions four times a week.
He has been helped with some of the costs of his competitions and travelling by the Chloe and Liam Trust- set up by the parents of South Tyneside teenagers Chloe Rutherford and LIam Curry, as a lasting legacy to the couple who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack in 2017.
The charity aims to help aspiring and talented young performers and sportspeople to follow their dreams.
Caroline added: “Josh was over the moon when we received the funding from the Chloe and Liam Trust.
“It’s nice to think their support has helped him to become a world champion.”
Josh, who is a self-funded sportsman, and his family are currently fundraising to help him continue to reach his potential.
A fundraising page has been set up to help Josh continue to reach his potential.
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joshwaddellfencing