A High Peak boy has been dealt the opportunity of a lifetime as he prepares to head stateside to compete in the Pokémon World Championships.
Luke Sneddon, who only began playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) last year, has participated in UK and European tournaments, and later this month he will compete on the world stage.
The 11-year-old said: “I’m so excited to be going and I’m really proud to have made it the world championships when I haven’t been playing very long.”
Pokémon TCG is a collectible card game based on the Pokémon franchise of video games and anime.
Players assume the role of a Pokémon trainer and use their Pokémon to battle opponents.
A Pokémon which has sustained enough damage is knocked out, and the player who is successful draws a prize card.
This continues until one player has lost all of their cards.
Luke, a former pupil at Harpur Hill Primary School who will be starting at St Thomas More School in September, learned how to play the game at Grove Goodies and Geekery, on Eagle Parade in Buxton, and he credits the shop for giving him a hobby he enjoys.
To qualify for the world championship, Luke needed to earn 250 points by competing in various tournaments.
He is now ranked eighth in the junior category in the UK and 36th in all of Europe.
The world championships will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, from August 24 to 26, and Luke will be accompanied on the trip by his dad Ian.
Luke said: “I’m really excited to be going to America and know it will be tough, but it’s still going to be fun.”
Lee Hadfield, owner of Grove Goodies and Geekery, added: “To see Luke become part of the community and do so well at Pokémon is just the best feeling.
“Here Luke has to play with older people as well as younger people, which has given him more skills than if he just played against people of his own age, so that should help him when he gets to America.
“We all wish him the best of luck.”