A TEENAGER has been selected for national motocross trials - having only just taken up the sport.

Michael Haddick, 15, of Bellburn Lane, Darlington, will be among 40 youngsters competing in the trials at Ballykelly, in Northern Ireland, in May.

But while most of his rivals have been competing in motocross for several years, Michael has only been riding for a few months.

"I have been doing it about a year," said Michael.

"A lot of the kids have been doing it since the age of seven or eight, so I suppose I have done quite well.

"I do championships in places like Yarm and Cumbria and also went training in Spain, and you can put yourself forward for the trials. But only 40 get selected."

Michael's father Don has become a keen fan of the sport since his son began competing.

"It keeps him off the streets - his life is his motorbike," said Mr Haddick.

"The only downside is that he often comes home black and blue - some of the jumps they do are just amazing.

"It's pure racing and you get kids doing 50 feet jumps."

Mr Haddick is appealing to individuals or businesses to sponsor his son because most competitors have two bikes - one to ride and one as a spare - but Michael has only one.

"It would enable him to really compete and to do the town proud," said Mr Haddick.

Anybody wanting to help can call (01325) 242955.