A TEENAGE sports star has battled against the odds to be picked to play for his country.

Graeme Henderson is only 15 but he has been chosen for the England Under-17 roller hockey side for the European Championships being held in Switzerland in November.

What makes his achievement even more remarkable is that he suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and needs daily doses of drugs to control his behaviour.

His family believe he is the first boy from a special school to play international roller hockey and are proud of his achievement.

Graeme, who lives in Willington and is a pupil at The Meadows, at Spennymoor, plays for the senior Spectrum Spartans side and last year captained the Under-15 Northern Counties Select side, who were runners-up in the national league.

A fast-moving forward player who is training to be a mechanic, he said he woule love to be able to play the sport professionally.

After he took up roller hockey when he was eight, his father, Stewart, decided to train as a referee and now takes charge of premier league matches.

Mr Henderson said: "Graeme has done amazingly well. He has shown what can be done."

The Meadows' headteacher, George Harris, said: "Graeme has come a long way.

"He came to the school because he found it difficult to work in a structured environment.

"He has some emotional and behavioural problems, which he is working hard to deal with.

"Graeme works hard while on a two-day work placement with a local garage with a view to starting a modern apprenticeship, which is a remarkable accomplishment.

"It is an incredible achievement to represent the country and to work so well with other members of the team and stay within the rules of the game.

"It is testament to the efforts and dedication of Graeme and his parents that he is doing so well in a sport he enjoys."

Graeme has to pay £1,000 to go on the Swiss trip and is looking for sponsors.

Anyone who wishes to help is asked to call him on (01388) 745350.