11-year old Sam will compete at the first Lego League Open

Building a future: Sam Elgee with his Lego-based interpretation of Hogwarts, Harry Potter's school of magic.
Building a future: Sam Elgee with his Lego-based interpretation of Hogwarts, Harry Potter's school of magic.
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He’s an Englishman with international glory in his sights, ready to go head to head with the world’s best teams.

And no, he’s not a member of Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad but an 11-year-old former Blackpool boy who is competing in the inaugural First Lego League International Open at the University of Toronto.

Sam Elgee, who moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, with parents Chris and Jane and sister Maddie four years ago, is part of a robotics team which will compete with 71 rivals from all over the world.

The team, Trurobotics, is named after the family’s home town, Truro, and reached the finals after success in county and provincial heats.

There are teams from Japan, United States, China, Brazil, Singapore and Ireland competing, but Sam is the sole representative from the UK.

He flew to Toronto with his team-mates yesterday, and they were due to mount their challenge, today.

The theme of the competition is Nature’s Fury, and Sam’s team have previously impressed judges with their Safe-T-Wall, which is designed to protect cars from flooding.

Sam, who previously lived with his family on Meanwood Avenue, Marton, said: “I’m very excited about taking part.

“I’ve been in this team for two years now and I enjoy it very much.

“We have all worked very hard and we hope we can win.”

The winners will share a 1,000 dollar prize when the contest concludes on Saturday.

Sam’s grandparents Peter and Ann Elgee still live on Common Edge Road in Marton.

Ann said: “Sam was only about two years old when he started getting into Lego.

“He’s really mad about it and it cost us a fortune buying him sets for his birthday and Christmas.

“We went to Canada for a month and there were Lego buildings in every room and little firemen and policemen everywhere - his mum has had to limit it to his bedroom now!

“He is very intelligent and some of it involves programming with computers. We are very proud of him.”

Sam is due to return to Blackpool for the first time in four years in six weeks when he will visit former classmates at Our Lady’s Primary School and tell them about his exploits.

The family will also be visiting Legoland Windsor.