YOUNG Toby Comley-Excell will be powering his way to success when he heads to Portugal later this month.
The 11-year-old, who plays for Bolton Bullets, has been chosen from 4,000 youngsters to take part in a training camp for powerchair football.
He is just one of 20 children picked for the prestigious event.
His mum, 43-year-old Michelle Thomason, faced the task of raising £1,200 to send Toby to Portugal.
Thanks to a generous donation of £800 from Manchester Technologies Data Sourcing, based in Swinton, fundraising herself to the tune of £424 and another £100 raised by family friend Helen O’Callaghan, Toby’s dream will come true.
Toby and his 17-year-old brother, Ben, both have duchenne muscular dystrophy — a muscle wasting disease — but Mrs Thomason says they are spirited and happy youngsters.
She added: “We have always focused on the things they can do, not the things they can’t do. None of us is good at everything.”
Powerchair football is not a Paralympic sport — but the family hope it will become one in the next eight years.
Ms Thomason said: “We hope it will be a Paralympic sport by 2020 but there is a lot of red tape to get through before it can become one.
“Toby wants to play for the England squad, who play in the world championships, and we hope he will be able to compete in the Paralympics.”
Mrs Thomason and 46-year-old husband Ian, a police community support officer, support the boys’ involvement in powerchair football, taking them from their Swinton home to matches and giving them plenty of encouragement.
While Toby plays at national level, his brother is happier playing in the North West for Bolton Bullets.