With the support of Goalball UK, and financial support from Tesco and Aylesbury Vale District Council, we are hoping to launch a Goalball Club at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in 2018.
BucksVision is encouraging potential players, coaches, officials and volunteers to get involved in this fast-paced team Paralympic sport for the visually impaired.
Goalball is an inclusive sport for all ages with or without sight. The game is played with raised markings on the floor, everyone wears blindfolds are used to ensure an even playing field as players locate the ball through the sound of a bell.
The sport was originally developed to rehabilitate soldiers after WWII and is the only team sport invented specifically for the visually impaired. In the past four years alone, participation has increased 425%. Significant funding from Sport England topping £1.5m has allowed for the sport to expand further with the Stoke Mandeville Stadium becoming the latest club location.
Unlike many disability sports, Goalball offers players the opportunity to progress from amateur to professional player in a remarkably short space of time.
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK comments: “All too often, visually impaired people struggle to find challenging and enjoyable activities. This can be especially upsetting for those who lose their sight later in life. For example, Laura Perry was a keen rugby and cricket player before becoming visually impaired aged 18. She now plays Goalball internationally with the Women’s GB Team.”
Anne Mills, Fundraising Manager at BucksVision added: “Goalball gives people with a visual impairment the chance to build their confidence and excel at a sport. Not only that, it offers a ready-made community of players and their families who together make each team a success. Whether you aspire to being a Paralympian, or simply want to enjoy yourself and join friendly and supportive group, Goalball is an ideal choice. Unlike many disability sports, Goalball offers players the opportunity to progress from amateur to professional player in a remarkably short space of time. The speed with which talent players can be identified and progress through the ranks makes it entirely likely that a potential Tokyo 2020 team would include a Bucks player yet to even pick up a Goalball.”
Anyone wishing to get involved, or learn more, can come along to the launch event:
Date: Saturday 3rd February 2018
Time: 9am to 1.00pm
Venue: The Cazenove Sports Hall, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Rd, Aylesbury HP21 9PP
Nearest train station: Aylesbury or Stoke Mandeville
Contact BucksVision on 01296 487566 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in joining this new club.