A TEENAGER with an eye condition has been chosen to star in a Christmas campaign for a national sports disability charity.

Caitlin Leigh, 16, from Blackburn, has lived with glaucoma for her entire life, and it is an eye problem that is usually found in older people.

The condition has left her registered blind but Caitlin has not let it get to her, taking up judo as a sport.

Her efforts have been recognised by British Blind Sport where she will be one of the stars of their Christmas appeal.

Proud mum Claire Leigh said: “Caitlin was born with glaucoma and we found out when she was a day old.

“It’s a very rare condition in young people, particularly babies and it’s not even in the family, so it was unexpected.

“But she has never let it get to here and just wants to make the most of life.”

Caitlin, a pupil at St Wilfrid’s Academy in Blackburn, has no vision in her left eye, and her right eye is extremely short sighted. She reads braille and has a two-year-old guide dog, Honey.

At the age of five, Caitlin began to take part in judo, where she has competed against both fully sighted judoka and other blind and partially sighted judoka, winning several awards.

It has seen her be a part of the visually impaired Great Britain Judo team, competing in Germany – and she aims to compete for her country in the paralympics.

Claire said: “Caitlin just really took to judo straight away.

“It’s a close contact sport so you can feel how people move and it really helps her.”

Caitlin, who trains at Bacup Judo Club, added: “It’s really cool and unexpected to be chosen as a star of this campaign.

“I just want to help others and inspire other people.”

The campaign will see her be the face of the charity’s Christmas appeal as an ambassador.

Her story will be used to help encourage other blind and partially sighted people to find out about their visual impairment friendly sports clubs and organisations and to have a more active lifestyle.