CHRIS GETS HIS SKATES ON

A YOUNG roller hockey supremo from Ballymoney will be getting his skates on to take part in a top competition in America later this year.

Local schoolboy Christopher Boyd, 12, from Seacon Park, has been selected to represent the Great Britain Under 12s roller hockey team for 2011 at the American Athletic Junior Olympics in Los Angeles in July.

Christopher - who took up the sport aged seven - has been a net-minder for the Northern Cyclones Inline Hockey Club in Bangor for the last two years.

During his time at the Cyclones his teams have won the Under 12 and Under 14 leagues both years as well as the Under 12 and Under 14 play-off championship.

Last year he became the only goalie in the history of the league not to concede a goal in the whole of a season in his Under 12 league.

And the Ballymoney High School pupil’s hugely impressive displays have not escaped the attention of the sport’s top brass.

Just after Christmas, the modest lad received the news he had been selected to represent Great Britain stateside this summer.

His selection is reward for the dedication of Christopher and his devotion to the sport.

He travels every weekend to Bangor for training as well as games with only two or three weekends off in the year.

As well as playing roller hockey for the Northern Cyclones, Christopher is the Under 12 and Under 14 net-minder for the Junior Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team and has played several times at the Odyssey in Belfast. Prior to this he was a key member of the Ballymoney Badgers team.

Proud mum June told Times Sport: “Christopher received the good news just after Christmas, so it was a lovely late present.

“We had an inkling before then that he could be picked but that is when it became official.

“Roller hockey is a smaller sport here in Northern Ireland but much bigger in England and even more so in America.”

And Christopher has shown to be equally at home on firm surfaces or ice.

Indeed a former coach of the Junior Belfast Giants Ice Hockey side told June that Christopher is one of the most naturally gifted youngsters he has seen.

Before the big trip to America, Christopher has to undergo at least six training sessions with his new teammates in England.

This means costly travel obligations for the Boyd family with each weekend away setting them back £300.

June had sought funding from Sport NI but this was rejected as roller hockey does meet their criteria for grants.

Therefore in order for Christopher to make the dream trip to Los Angeles, the venture - and pre-tournament training - must be funded solely by the Boyds.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Christopher would be warmly welcomed and should contact Chris at the Times on 27666216.