Saturday, 28 May 2011

My First Experience of Goalball!

In 2012 London will host the Olympic, and Paralympic games. It is an opportunity for the world to all celebrate sports and athletic achievements. So thinking about this I decided to look into what Paralympic sports are out there for Visually Impaired people. I didn't have to look that far. My Facebook news feed in fact lead me in the right direction telling me that some of my friends - who have a VI - had liked 'goalball'.

So onwards to wikipedia, and here is the definition:
'Goalball is a team sport designed for blind athletes. It was devised by Hanz Lorenzen (Austria), and Sepp Reindle (Germany), in 1946 in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans.[1] The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), responsible for fifteen sports for the blind and partially sighted in total, is the governing body for this sport.' - Source wikipedia.

'Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal.[2] They must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Games consist of two 12 minute halves (formerly 10 minute halves).[2] Blindfolds allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players.' - Source Wikipedia.
So Goalball sounds a bit:
Unlike other Paralympic sports goalball dosen't have very long, complicated and confusing classification systems. If you have a visual impairment you can do it in the paralympics! Where as with equestrian and other sports classification is split into varying levels of disability: 

Grade I is for more severely physically impaired jumpers, Grade III is for the least physically impaired jumpers, Grade IV is for the Visually Impaired jumpers. - Source

So I went off to give it a try! The 'Hull Outreach Goalball Team' were kind enough to let me join in and I got going! It is a very hard sport to play but I found that my navigation with a blind fold on is surprisingly good so that was very reassuring! The ball travels at amazing speed but luckily the other players were kind enough to be nice to me! I have had a bash with the ball on the nose but I am still good and well! 
I went to sessions for a few weeks but I am currently having a break due to other commitments, a shame really as I do enjoy it. I think goalball is a very good game for anyone with a visual impairment to get involved in and would fully recommend it.
For more information about goalball go to: 

Beverley 2K Fun Run!

Every year in my local town of Beverley there is a 2K fun run for anyone who wants to take part; plus a more challenging 10K for the more ‘energetic’ of people. This year I ran the 2K to raise money for ‘LOOK’ Charity.

I had to do a lot of training in advance because I am not a brilliant runner, but I got there in the end! It was so exciting on race day lining up next to the start line with the other runners. I had the privilege of running next to Hull City mascot – Rory the Tiger. 

I raised £225 – which exceeds my target of £200. I am very, very, grateful to everyone who sponsored me and helped me raise such a large amount of money! LOOK is an excellent charity who I hope will put the money to very good use.

You can make a donation at: