A teen's dream of competing at the Paralympics in 2012 could be dashed by a lack of funding.
Ryan Langdon, of Raleigh Road, Feltham, is a rising star in the world of boccia - a little-known sport which is a bit like French boules only with softer balls.
But despite finishing second in last year's UK Championships and fourth this time around, the 19-year-old, who has 'acquired cerebral palsy' and is virtually parlaysed below the waist, receives no funding and struggles to pay his travel expenses for major tournaments.
Ryan, who took up the sport in 2000, has missed out on the chance to impress coaches at the GB Open for two years running because it is held in Glasgow and his mum cannot afford to pay for fuel and hotel bills, meaning he could not compete in Beijing.
"When I tell people I play boccia they usually ask 'what on earth's that?'," he said. It's a great game because there's a lot of strategy involved and it's growing in popularity all the time. I'm learning all the time and I'm determined to win gold at the next Olympics but I need the funding to ensure I can keep improving."
Ryan's mum Ann, a 42-year-old customer services assistant at McDonald's in Feltham, reckons Ryan needs £1,000-£2,000 a year to pay for training and competitions. A portable hoist alone, which is needed to lift him into and out of his wheelchair, would cost upwards of £2,000.
"We all know Ryan can do it," said Ann, who is study for her level one coaching badge in boccia. "He just needs the chance to impress the coaches.
Ryan was among dozens of disabled youngsters who attended a London Paralympic handover event at Fountains Leisure Centre in Brentford last Wednesday. If you can help with funding email: email@example.com