A Huddersfield schoolboy has been picked to play ice hockey for England.
Jacob Mardell, of Birkby, will be travelling to Finland in April to compete in an international tournament for his country and has set up a GoFundMe page as ice hockey is not a funded sport.
The 14-year-old Rastrick High pupil plays in goal and has been involved in ice hockey since he was five.
He now plays for Bradford Bulldogs under 14s and under 16s and his two brothers, Thomas and Finley, also play for Bradford Bulldogs teams. Thomas, 17, is in the under 18s and senior teams while eight-year-old Finley competes for the under 10s.
Jacob’s team won their national league when he was playing for the under 12s.
All three train at Bradford Ice Arena on Wednesday nights – they are there from 5.30pm to 11pm – and have great support from mum Becky Grant and dad Simon Mardell.
Jacob and Thomas also train on Fridays from 10.30pm to midnight after the ice arena has closed to the public.
Jacob has gone through four gruelling trials to clinch his England place. He has represented England before in the under 13s when they reached the semi-final of the Pee-Wee Tournament in Quebec, Canada, the world’s most prestigious tournament for junior ice hockey. England reached the semi-finals, the first time an England team had reached that stage.
Becky said: “Jacob is just so tough and determined when he gets out there on the ice – he’s very zoned in.”
The tournament is in Turku, Finland, from April 17 to 22 and the GoFundMe target is £900 which is just part of the cost with Becky and Simon paying the rest.
Jacob said: “Any financial support will greatly help my parents and family who work tirelessly to help me with my ice hockey.”
Jacob first became interested in ice hockey when Becky’s sisters Catherine and Julie, who live in Holmfirth, took him to see Sheffield Steelers who they support.
You can help Jacob through his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/xsf9m-help-me-get-to-finland
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.