A STUDENT at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) has followed in his brother's footsteps by being promoted to the goalball national men’s squad

Joe Roper, 19, who is the brother of current GB and ex-RNC student Daniel Roper, also coaches novice players at the college.

His selection brings the total number of current or ex-students to represent Great Britain in the paralympic sport to seven in the past decade.

Goalball, a fast-paced team sport for the visually impaired, has a significant presence at the RNC with sport academy teacher Aaron Ford also acting as lead coach to the women’s GB squad.

And unlike many disability sports, it offers players the opportunity to progress from amateur to professional player in a remarkably short space of time.

The current GB squads have also included past and present RNC students Caleb Nanevie, Laura Perry and Kali Holder with RNC alumni Rosie Howells and David Scott representing Great Britain in the past.

"After seeing my brother rise through the ranks and compete internationally, I was inspired to take up the sport myself," said Joe.

"Goalball is a big part of my life and I’m so excited to start training and competing alongside Daniel and the rest of the squad.”

Faye Dale, lead coach to the GB men’s squad added: “Joe is an exceptional player and it has been a privilege to support his development.

"I look forward to the contribution his talent will make to the squad.”

Ford said that it's great that RNC offer goalball.

"the number of players who have progressed to the national squads from studying at the RNC is just fantastic," he said.

"So many of them also go on to have a huge impact on their local clubs – supporting and inspiring the next generation.”