A BUDDING Paralympian played his part to help Great Britain’s under-23 goalball team secure a bronze medal at the European Para Youth Games in Finland.

Joshua Murphy, who plays goalball, for the Royal National College for the Blind, and his team mates went up against some of the best teams in Europe to secure the impressive result across three days of competition.

Goalball is a fast-paced team sport for athletes with a visual impairment.

It is played by two teams of three players. The objective of the game is to score by bowling the ball along the floor into the opposing team’s goal.

The tournament got off to a dream start, with a series of impressive wins over Germany, Italy and Hungary to secure a spot in the semi-finals. This saw the young team come up against Germany again in the last four.

Unfortunately, Great Britain were unable to replicate their fantastic performance against the Germans earlier in the competition and this time they lost following a hard-fought match.

Despite the disappointment of not making the final, the team re-focused for the the bronze medal match against Romania.

The tense game was decided by just one goal as Great Britain ended the competition on the podium with a 3-2 win.

Faye Dale, the head coach for the Great Britain under 23’s squad, said: “We’re incredibly proud to bring to the bronze medal home from the European Para Youth Games.

“For such a young team to show great maturity in their performances throughout this competition, especially to hold out for the win in the bronze medal match, was an outstanding achievement. "We’re confident that these players can go far and have more success at other international tournaments.

“It’s vital for their development as elite athletes to step out of their comfort zones and test themselves against goalball players from the across continent.”

Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK, added: “Our opposition consisted of countries with the most established programmes in the world.

"This result demonstrates that we have a bright future in the sport and if funding allows our players to continue to develop, we can be competitive against the best teams at senior level in the Paralympics in Paris and Los Angeles.”