Matthew and Callum preparing for table football championship

Darlington and Stockton Times: TABLE GOAL: UK number one and two Matthew Warr, left, and Callum Oakes, with GB junior team coach Darren Warr at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science TABLE GOAL: UK number one and two Matthew Warr, left, and Callum Oakes, with GB junior team coach Darren Warr at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science

TWO North-East students are preparing to represent their country in the table football world cup.

Matthew Warr and Callum Oakes, from Darlington, will compete in the Foosball world cup, in France, in January.

The pair, who are junior champion and number two respectively, are the national doubles champions in the sport.

Matthew, 16, and 15-year-old Callum gave students at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS) a masterclass in the game on Tuesday.

The school recently took delivery of outdoor Foosball tables in a move to provide students with constructive activities at lunch and break times.

Inspired by a demonstration of the GB players’ skills, DSMS students are being encouraged to enter the sport competitively by joining Darlington Table Football Club.

Pupil Ryan Watt, 12, said: “I would love to play internationally one day. It is really good fun and great to play competitively.”

Matthew’s father, Darren, is GB junior team coach.

He said: “We started about three years ago and have 15 members but we are desperately short of juniors because youngsters don’t seem to discover the sport until they are at university.”

Club secretary Martin Landers added: “We will have a team in the national league next year and the sport affords fantastic opportunities. Matt and Callum will have an amazing time in the world cup playing people from all over the world.”

Table football, or Foosball, can be played in singles or pairs with the winners being the first to reach seven goals.

Teacher Mike Morrell said: “Boys and girls love the game and are outside in all weathers playing. It is providing real focus for them over break times and promoting a wonderful competitive spirit.”

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