Picked for England at two sports

Wednesday 26th September 2012 10:00 pm
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Mike Burris. ()

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SPORTING all-rounder Mike Burris has been selected to represent the England Deaf Golf team at next month's World Championships in Japan.

It's an incredible achievement for the three handicapper from Forest Hills Golf Club, who is already established as part of the British Deaf badminton team.

Mike is already training hard for next summer's Deaf Olympics in Bulgaria, where he will compete on the badminton courts.

The carpet-fitter from Coleford won a silver medal at the World Deaf Badminton Championships in South Korea last year.

His call-up to the England golf team came about after he entered the English National Deaf Open at Luffenham in June as a rank outsider, but won by a clear nine shots (gross scores).

He followed up by winning the Welsh Deaf Open at the end of August.

He said: "I'm thrilled to bits. I only went back to playing golf because there was a bit of a lull in the badminton. All of my boys play golf and I enjoy playing with them.

"We're a sporty family and two of my sons are already off low handicaps (Connor plays off five and Ryan off six)."

Mike was playing badminton for fun in the Forest of Dean League until a match against a Gloucestershire selector led to a county call-up.

He was spotted by the coach of the GB deaf team while playing for the county, who noticed he was wearing a hearing aid.

Following trials in Hull, he was picked to go to the sixth Deaf Badminton European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he won a silver medal in the doubles, partnering Yorkshireman Carl Sadler.

Now 43, he's loving his new life as an international sportsman.

He said: "When I was younger I didn't even know these opportunities existed because I don't really live in the deaf community. But it's fantastic to be given these chances and to get to travel the world."

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