Footballer Katie Carpenter battling for a place in the Great Britain squad for the Deaflympics in Turkey
- Credit: Ian Burt
A footballer who has lived with severe hearing loss since birth is hoping to inspire others to overcome challenges in life after being given a second shot at becoming an international.
Katie Carpenter is battling for selection in the Great Britain ladies' squad for the Deaflympics in Turkey in July.
The 25-year-old, who lives on Moorgate Road, Dereham, is due to find out next month if she has made the cut.
Six years ago Miss Carpenter trained with the England ladies deaf team.
But she turned down the chance to play for England as she did not want to spend weeks away from her daughter Megan, who was one at the time.
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Miss Carpenter, a full-time mum, is a goalkeeper for Toftwood Ladies and can also play in midfield.
She has had three training sessions with the Great Britain squad and now also has a son, Alfie, four.
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She said: 'Turning down England is the hardest thing I've ever done.
'It's always been my dream to play football and now my children are a bit older, I have another chance. I'm giving it everything.
'It has never been easy being deaf, or being a single mum, but I want to show my children, my friends and other people with disabilities that anything is possible if you really set your mind to it.
'The training sessions have been very tough. My fitness is good but the hardest thing has been learning sign language. I've always used hearing aids, which I use when I play for Toftwood, but for Great Britain you're not allowed to for safety reasons. I've never learnt sign language and it's hard but I'm getting there.'
Toftwood Ladies coach Graham Costin said: 'Katie's attitude in training is brilliant. She is a great player to have in the squad as she always has a positive word to say about other players if they are feeling low and lacking in confidence.
'We at Toftwood Ladies are very proud and pleased she training with the Great Britain deaf squad her hard work over the last few years has paid off.'
Miss Carpenter needs to raise £500 in sponsorship to help cover the costs of the Turkey trip. To donate, go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/katiecarpenter2