A Sheffield brother and sister have been selected for the Young Guns UK Hockey team which is travelling to T Detroit, Michigan to take part in the 2017 USA State Wars Tournament.
Thirteen-year-old Thomas Thulbourne and his sister Millie, eight, are “ ice hockey mad” and have followed Sheffield Steelers and Sheffield Steeldogs weekly since they were toddlers.
The Young Guns are only the second team from outside the US to be invited to play in the tournament, one of the largest Inline Hockey events in the world. It will be held over two weeks in July-August.
Thomas has always been keen on sport, and spent two seasons as a goalkeeper with Sheffield United FC Academy from 2013-15, having played for Handsworth Boys.
He then began playing inline hockey for the Diamondbacks team, who play at the Simply Skate Arena, Eastwood, Rotherham.
Their mother Angela said: “He has gone from strength to strength since, playing for the U12s, U 14s and U16s.
“As with a lot of things, anything Thomas can do Milly can, and she started playing in April 2016. She has also in the past tried football and secured her purple belt in karate by age seven. But hockey has really become her passion.
“Young Guns Hockey has been taking players to the USA for a number of years now. The players improve on their hockey skillsand also learn to be part of a team and to survive away from the comforts of home. They will come away from the trip with skills that will help them in their future, a fantastic memory and a new set of friends.
“As with all minority sports, these trips are self-funded. We are fund raising and getting in touch with local companies as any help with the costs will be gratefully received.”
* Go to www.gofundme.com/thom-milly-state-wars-2017