A squad of football players with learning and emotional difficulties at Shipley College are counting down the days until they will represent Yorkshire in a prestigious national tournament.

The ‘Ability Counts’ football team tackled the opposition at a regional play off in Leeds in December to win the right to represent their county at the largest annual national multi-sports championships of its kind in the UK, the British Colleges Sport National Championships at the University of Bath on April 4 to 6.

The competition involves more than 2,000 students and staff from colleges across the UK competing in 14 different sports.

Entry sector tutor and coach Damian Butters said: “Being part of the football team gives the students an immense boost to their confidence.

“The students were so proud to think they would be representing Yorkshire and Humberside at a national tournament. This was one of the biggest achievements of their lives.”

Team captain Jake Fawcett, 18, said: “I felt confident when we arrived and had a good feeling we were going to win. We played exceptionally well as a team and displayed some great skills. Playing in the final will be a great experience for all of us!”

The team are now looking for sponsors to help with the cost of the trip, including kit, transport and accommodation. About £2,000 is needed. If any group wants to join the sponsors they can contact (01274) 327309.