Published: 09:15, 12 February 2018
Schoolboy Jamie Morton could be given the chance of a lifetime to play ice hockey in Chicago, but it hinges on the fundraising attempts of his family.
Jamie, 11, of Wakeley Road, Rainham, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) aged three and autism when he was five.
After trying out a few sports, Jamie, who goes to Hundred of Hoo Academy, took to ice hockey.
Now he could be heading to the Windy City to compete in a four-day tournament for those with special needs, the 2018 USA Disabled Hockey Festival, but it will cost £3,000.
Jamie has played for local team Invicta Chargers (under-13s), based in Gillingham, but began playing for the London Werewolves Special Needs team in September.
Jamie’s mum Samantha Morton, 32, has set up a JustGiving page and Facebook group in hopes of raising the money to take him to the States.
She said: “Finding sports he enjoys has been hard over the years but he seemed to take to ice hockey. He’s gained confidence from ice hockey, from knowing there are others like him.
“It gives him a sense of achievement, and improves his self-esteem and socialising skills”
“It gives him a sense of achievement, and improves his self-esteem and socialising skills.”
Samantha is desperate to be able to get her son to the tournament, and continued: “We really want to be able to take him - he won’t get this opportunity very often.”
Jamie’s penchant for the game was encouraged by senior player Billy Phillips, who played for the Invicta Dynamos until 2015.
The Essex-born star would greet Jamie off the ice during his time in Gillingham.
Samantha is also over half-way through a two-month ‘DeChox’ - giving up chocolate - to help raise money.
She added: “Giving up chocolate has definitely been hard, but all worth it.”
Jamie’s dad, Nick Morton, 33, is now training to become an ice hockey coach so he can set up a special needs team in Medway.
Ice hockey has begun to involve the whole family, with Jamie’s sister Alicia, eight, often there to watch her brother train.
The mission of the USA Disabled Hockey Festival is to provide a fun and exciting weekend of hockey in a grand event as well as promote and grow disabled hockey. The event is the largest disabled hockey event of its kind. This year, the festival will take place in Illinois, in April.
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