Para athlete takes the plunge for club funds

Scarborough Goalball Club's Stuart Hudson during his fundraising skydive.
Scarborough Goalball Club's Stuart Hudson during his fundraising skydive.

A visually impaired goalball player has completed a skydive from 10,000ft to raise over £500 for his team – Scarborough Goalball Club.

Stuart Hudson, 16, was diagnosed with optic atrophy, nystagmus and squint, which resulted in him being registered blind from a young age.

Not discouraged to continue being active and play sport, Stuart discovered goalball, the only team sport that has been specifically designed for people with a visual impairment.

It is played by two teams of three and the objective is to throw the ball past your opponents in the nine-metre-wide goal.

Each player wears blackout goggles, allowing visually impaired and sighted people to compete on an even playing field.

Since picking up the sport in 2011, Stuart has quickly become a key player for the Scarborough Goalball Club.

He has already represented the men’s Great Britain development squad. Most recently, he claimed a bronze medal at the International Goalball Tournament in Lithuania.

Stuart said: “The skydive was an exhilarating experience and definitely ticked off a dream from my list. What made it more special was to raise important funds for the Scarborough Goalball Club in the process.

“We have a great bunch of players and this money will really help the team to travel around the country to compete and buy equipment.

“From a young age I found it difficult to get involved with sports because the games that my sighted friends would play were not easily adaptable, accessible, or safe.

“Through Action for Blind Children in Scarborough I found goalball. The sport has taught me the importance of being part of a team, working together and communicating with team members, but most of all the motivation to get back into sports and become involved with all aspects of the goalball community.”

Mark Winder, chief executive of Goalball UK, said “We are all immensely proud of Stuart. For someone of his age, his determination and commitment to the sport and the Scarborough Goalball Club is inspiring.

“He’s an incredibly talented player that’s coming through our English Talent Pathway and someone we hope he will go on to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics one day.”

Scarborough Goalball Club trains every second and fourth Saturday (during term time) at Graham School from 2pm to 4pm and welcome new players – both sighted and visually impaired – to give the sport a go.