It is going to be a Christmas to remember for a wheelchair basketball player from Barrow, who will be representing his country this week at a time where most of us will be busy relaxing with our families.

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Baines has recently broken into the set-up with Great Britain Academy, which is for players aged 16-25, and he has been selected in the squad for their games against Spain. The matches are taking place on three consecutive days with two on Friday, two more on Saturday and one final game on Sunday at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield.

Baines, who has been selected for four of the five games, said: “I can’t wait to get on the court and do what I need to to make sure we win this mini series. The GB set up are a great bunch of lads that I’ve played with and against throughout my time playing in the various leagues.

“I set myself some goals at the beginning of the season and it’s a tick in the first box. My next goal is to try and cement a place in the GB under-22s, who will be playing in the 2021 World Championship in Japan. Over the next couple of years I would like to go professional and earn a living out of the sport. My new league club Oldham have been brilliant with me.

“We will be flying out to Switzerland in March to play in the Euro League, which will be a first for me also and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Baines has been training with GB Academy three times a week in Sheffield for eight months, while also playing for Oldham Owls, who currently lead the Northern Premier League.

He is part of the SportsAid Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme and is on a pathway with Great Britain for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

His father Mark said: "He can put in 700 or 800 miles a week, every week and never moans about it. He loves the game and now we are seeing the fruits for his hard work and dedication.”