A budding fly-half is hoping to kick his way into the record books with a drop goal challenge designed to raise money to find a cure for motor neurone disease.
Barnard Castle Preparatory School pupil Dominick Armstrong was so moved by the plight of rugby stars Rob Burrow and the late Doddie Weir that he has taken up the challenge to raise much-needed funds.
The Year 5 pupil has contacted The Guinness Book of Records to be the first child to attempt the drop goal feat. In January he will attempt to kick as many drop goals as he can in three minutes. The adult record stands at 36.
Dominick, nine, who dreams of playing No10 for the Barbarians one day, has grown up with sport. His grandfather is cricket legend Sir Ian Botham and his cousin is Wales and Cardiff flanker James Botham, who used to play with Rob and Doddie.
“When I saw what Rob and Doddie have been going through, and now Doddie has passed away, I was really upset and just felt I had to do something,” said Dominick, who lives between Richmond and Barnard Castle and plays for school and Darlington Rugby Club.
“I thought I might as well try and set a world record and raise as much money as possible along the way so I have been practising on the back field at school for weeks.”
Prep School’s head of PE Martin Burgess said: “Dominick’s commitment is commendable. He is out there in all weathers practising all aspects of his game, including the kicking, and he is already shaping up to be an excellent player. It will be inspirational to have a record-breaker in the school and to raise money for such a worthy cause.”
Former Leeds Rhino Rob Burrow, Falcons and Scotland lock Doddie Weir and Gloucester and former England lock Ed Slater are among the latest players to be struck down by MND, an incurable condition that affects the brain and nervous system, which is increasingly being connected to contact sports. Doddie died last week having raised awareness of the disease and millions of pounds for MND research.
Anyone wanting to contribute to Dominick’s charity attempt can donate here.
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