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Teenage Powerchair football star handed England call-up

Rosie Hodgson with the new wheelchair allowing her to play Champions League powerchair football.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Rosie Hodgson with the new wheelchair allowing her to play Champions League powerchair football. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

A teenage Powerchair football star from Sprowston has had her dreams fulfilled as the only girl to be selected to play the sport for her country this year.

Rosie Hodgson, 17, got the call up on Monday, and will now spend a weekend in August at a training camp with the national team.

The news comes following a league and cup double with her London-based team, Aspire PFC, bringing home both the Premiership and FA Cup this season before heading to the Champions League in October.

“At the moment I am having to increase my training from the two hours a week I do at Watford with my team, to another six hours a week independently,” said Rosie. “It is really hard to find some affordable space. It will only be me training, and a hall at the UEA can cost between £50 and £100 for an hour. I just can’t afford that.”

If the training camp, held on August 12 and 13 in Burton-on-Trent, is successful, Rosie could be on her way to America next year for the World Cup.

She got onto the radar of the England squad after being head-hunted by their scouts during a national weekend in Nottingham.

“I was ecstatic, and just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I am now the only girl who has been picked for this year’s squad.”

The dream was only achievable after Rosie raised £7,500 for a new wheelchair, allowing her to continue to compete at the highest levels.

“Without the new chair I wouldn’t have got the call-up,” she said. “It is only that I now have the skill and the equipment that I am able to fulfil my dreams.

“When we play in the Champions League, the French teams are so superior it is unreal, so I would love to play the French national team.

“America are the holders of the World Cup, and England came second, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to take it from them.”

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