CHARLIE McIntyre has been left lost for words after being named in Team England’s wheelchair basketball squad for the Commonwealth Games.

The 17-year-old from Southend has been included in a four man squad for the event in Birmingham next month.

And McIntyre feels his selection has yet to sink in.

“It’s quite astonishing but I’m buzzing about it,” said McIntyre.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet just how big this event is yet.

“For my family it’s incredible and, like me, they don’t really know how to react either.

“I went to my dad straight away which was so joyful and my mum cried but I honestly don’t know how to put it into words because I can’t quite believe it.”

“Now it would be another dream to go and get a medal in what is going to be my first major tournament.”

McIntyre’s call up for the 3x3 squad came after just his second full season in the sport.

But the youngster first got into basketball while at Earls Hall Junior School.

“Less than a year after I got my disability my old headteacher at Earls Hall got in a wheelchair racer called Richard Chiassaro who is also from Essex,” said McIntyre.

“He did a talk about his racing and it was great.

“He saw me in a wheelchair and gave me his chair to sit in for a bit.

“I was wheeling around in it and he asked if I could get to some sessions in Harlow.

“I ended up going every week and the basketball all built up from there.”

McIntyre started to train with the Essex Outlaws from the age of eight and he will forever be grateful for the support his school showed him “Earls Hall were just brilliant with me, they got me into basketball which I could not be more thankful for,” said McIntyre.

“I was diagnosed with my first disability when I was six and then the second one when I was about 11 or 12.

“At the beginning I wasn’t a full-time wheelchair user.

“I still tried to carry on with the football and they used to get coaches in from Southend where dad and I had season tickets.

“They would let me out of my wheelchair for 10 minutes and it was great.

“I was football crazy so I used to love it.”

McIntyre had dreamed of becoming a Premier League footballer and trained with Chelsea when he was six years old.

His attentions turned to wheelchair basketball due to two hip conditions, Perthes disease and SUFE.

But the former Eastwood Academy pupil recalls little about his tough times.

“If I’m brutally honest about it all, I can’t quite remember much,” said McIntyre.

“I think I dealt with it by eating to begin with.

“From being an active child playing football every evening it was quite a big difference.

“It took its toll mentally but my outlook on things is that everything happens for a reason and I’m in the best possible situation I could be in now.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“My disability isn’t life threatening, I’m healthy and I’m going to the Commonwealth Games.”


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