Georgie Bullen will make her return to the top table of international goalball after a 12-year absence.

The Royston star was just 16 when she last represented Great Britain at the IBSA Goalball World Championships but will be part of the squad in Portugal for this month's tournament.

The championships are one of three qualifying opportunities for the Paris 2024 Paralympics and Bullen is hoping to repeat the success of reaching the 2012 Games.

She said: "It is beyond exciting. It has been 12 years since GB qualified for a World Championships so just making it into the tournament, having the chance to play the best teams in the world, is a huge achievement.

"This time around it does feel quite different for me. When we last competed in a World Championships in 2010, I had only been on the team for about a year and was still very much a newbie at 16.

"This time round, I am in a vastly different position. I have different hopes for myself, and my preparations have been significantly more focused."

The 28-year-old was diagnosed with macular degeneration at five-year-old and registered blind by the age of eight.

She works full time in the Parliamentary Digital Service while also playing goalball for Fen Tigers and the Queen Bees in the Goalball UK Leagues.

And the latter contains five of the GB squad, something Bullen says is hugely important.

She said: "Training has been going well. We've all been pushing each other hard and trying out new things on court.

"We are also working hard with our support staff, such as our strength and conditioning coach, to make sure we are optimising our off-court training too.

"It feels like no stone has been left unturned. For the first time ever, we formed an all-female goalball team to compete in the Goalball UK Super league this year which has provided us with even more high-level competition."

Goalball is a unique team sport played on a court with three players per side.

All players wear blackout eyeshades and rely on their other senses to succeed such as by touch and sound.

The ball itself weighs over 1kg and has two bells inside so players can hear it.

The GB squad are not paid athletes and combine playing and training with work, something Bullen says can be tricky.

She said: "I will work all day, then go to the gym most evenings, and often have goalball training or tournaments at the weekend.

"It is a hard balance to strike, but I love goalball. I would not have dedicated 14 years of my life to it if I did not.

"I am lucky to have such a supportive and understanding coaching staff and team. They pick me up when I need it and spur me on."

Gary Fraser, high performance lead for Goalball UK said: "We are delighted to have qualified for the World Championships. The squad have worked incredibly hard and will be up against the best in the World in Portugal.

"We are bound to learn a lot from the competition."