A YOUNG baseball star from Horwich will be representing his country in Europe after he was selected for the national team.

Travis Harfield, aged 11, flew out to Budapest in Hungary yesterday to compete in the European championships as part of Great Britain's under-12 team.

It has been the realisation of a dream for the St Catherine's Church of England Primary School pupil, who took up the sport when he was seven-years-old while he and his family lived in Vancouver Island, Canada.

His mother Beverley Lang said: "So many children play baseball in Canada and he got interested in playing.

"He is quite an athletic boy so he was good at it right away.

"That's basically how he is, if he takes on a sport then he is usually pretty good at it."

The family moved to Horwich just over a year ago.

And as soon as they arrived, Travis and Ms Lang sought out the closest baseball team.

They settled on Manchester Baseball Club, which holds regular training sessions and matches at Wythenshawe Park.

Ms Lang said: "We got to Horwich and we pretty much started looking for baseball clubs straight away.

"The coach of Manchester Baseball Club, John Eaton, has been absolutely fantastic.

"We did some tournaments and then we heard that Great Britain were holding trials.

"So Travis took part and he won three out of four of the competitions that were being held."

The Great Britain team is due to kick off its tournament against Czech Republic tomorrow.

It will be the first of six games the team will play in the first stage.

Ms Lang said: "Travis has definitely got a gift and it is up to him to do what he can with it.

"I am pleased that he has this opportunity and I hope it helps to encourage others to get involved in baseball.

"For me, this is all extremely new. A lot of countries play baseball on a more professional level than we do.

"It is the first year that Britain has had an under-12 team and I think they are gearing up to get involved in the Olympics.

"To play at an international level and compete with some of these countries is a fantastic experience for them."

As well as playing baseball for Manchester, Travis is also part of the Horwich RMI junior cricket team.