Hargham teenager Alexander Pates has seen his hopes of joining the England national ten pin bowling team given a boost with a £500 grant.
The 17-year-old has been awarded the Gifted and Talented grant from Breckland Council to help cover equipment, competition and practice costs.
Pates began bowling competitively at the age of eight, and two years later he was selected to join the Under-18 team at the Junior Nationals, where he gained a silver medal.
The youngster was three times a part of the winning team at the National Inter-Counties tournament, and narrowly missed out on a place in the England team at the latest selection event, finishing as one of the top 10 bowlers.
“Last year I travelled around 6,000 miles, competing in events around the country,” Pates said.
“I love bowling but with the cost of equipment and overnight stays, it’s a lot of money to find.
“My dream for 2017 is to play for England and be selected to play in the European Championships.
“I’m determined to practice at every opportunity to achieve this, but that means travelling and paying for a lane as I can’t practice at home or in the park.”
Councillors Philip Cowen and William Smith, Breckland Council ward members for All Saints and Wayland, said: “The costs associated with competing at such a high level can present a real barrier for young people, making it difficult for them to achieve their potential.
“We were very impressed by Alexander’s many achievements, his considerable determination and the passion he has for his sport.
“The award is well deserved and we wish him every success in achieving his dream in 2017.”