Richard will be going for footie gold!

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A CARNOUSTIE athlete is hoping for success at the Special Olympics next year.

Richard Nicoll (18) has Downs Syndrome and will be competing for Tayside in the five-a-side football tournament at the 2013 Special Olympics in Bath.

And this isn’t the first time the Angus College student has competed on a Special Olympic level. At the 2009 Games in Leicester his team bagged a silver medal.

His mum Sharon said: “This is actually his second Special Olympics. He was there three years ago when he was only 14. He’s been playing for about four or five years.

“He got into five-a-sides through Carnoustie High School. They said he should try the disability football which at that time was in Forfar. They’ve since moved it to Arbroath and they train there now.

“He went to Perth for a trial for the Perth, Dundee and Angus areas in McDiarmid Park and that was about four or five weeks ago and then the letter came yesterday (Monday).

“I’ve had to take him off the ceiling!”

Richard is no stranger to competitive five-a-side football and in 2010 he was picked for the Team GB Select for a tournament in Finland in which they came fourth.

There is still much hard work to do, as Richard must fund his place at the Special Olympic by raising £400, which will then be matched by the Special Olympic Organising Committee.

Sharon added: “It’s really fund-raising for the Special Olympics, it’s all to put in the pot for Tayside and for the Games.

“Last time we did a race night which raised a lot of money and I’m planning on organising another one.

“I’m also thinking about a darts, dominoes and pool night, but that’s all still in the pipeline.”