A WORCESTER teenager made his Great Britain senior debut in the Paralympic sport of goalball at the age of 17.

Stuart Hudson, a visually-impaired student at New College Worcester, has played the sport since he was nine.

He has risen through the ranks to now be considered one of the nation's brightest talents.

Hudson featured for the GB squad in Finland at the Pajulahti Games.

His displays helped the team to sixth place as he starred in the opening match against the host nation and eventual winners, making two vital saves.

Hudson was diagnosed with optic atrophy, nystagmus and squint which resulted in him being registered blind from a young age.

Keen to continue being active and playing sport, he discovered goalball, the only team sport that has been specifically designed for people with a visual impairment.

Since picking up the sport Hudson became a key player for his hometown club Scarborough Panthers in North Yorkshire.

He was quickly invited to join Goalball UK’s Talent Pathway where he competed with GB’s development squads at tournaments across Europe.

On the Pajulahti Games, Hudson said: “It was an incredible experience to join up with the men’s senior squad at an international tournament to get exposure against some really top goalball teams.

“I am more determined than ever to keep progressing and to nail down my spot in the team.

"I know the level I need to aspire to and with more hard work and time on the court this can be achieved and hopefully surpassed.

“Since I started playing goalball at nine years old, my progression through the ranks has been a bit of a whirlwind.

"The team at Goalball UK are fantastic at spotting and nurturing talent.

"It is a really exciting time for goalball in the UK.

"I hope to be a big part of the success we have moving forward and inspire visually-impaired people to take up the sport.

GB head coach Faye Dale said: “We were delighted to promote Stuart to the senior squad.

"We have been working with him for a few years now and it is clear that he is one of the brightest talents we have.

“For someone so young his levels of maturity are very impressive.

"If he continues to develop his skills there will be many more opportunities like this at the Pajulahti Games on his journey to becoming an elite goalball player.”