Goalball: try this unique sport designed for athletes with vision impairment.
Goalball is a team sport developed specifically for blind or visually impaired players. It’s one of the top five sports played by blind participants. The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opponent’s goals while opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. Bells inside the ball help orientate players by indicating the direction of the incoming ball. Plays are completely blindfolded by ‘blackout’ eyeshades, putting all players on an even playing field. For those with little or no sight, players can improve their other senses, such as hearing, touch and spatial awareness. Communication skills are utilised as athletes rely on their teammates to speak as they can’t use visual cues. Taking part in goalball for visually impaired participants, is a great opportunity to meet others in a similar situation and help build confidence and independence. Paralympics Australia has a great info sheet about Goalball.
Goalball Australia is the national body for Goalball in Australia. They work closely with Blind Sports Australia and with state-based Goalball Associations to provide programs for children to learn the game and participate in competition. High Performance and Elite athletes can compete on the international stage for Australia in the senior Men’s team (Aussie Storm) and the women’s team (Aussie Belles). These teams can qualify for the Paralympic Games and compete in World Championships. There are also National Youth squads for boys and girls with World Youth Championships held every two years. Check out some highlights from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Goalball SA are affiliated with Blind Sports SA and is the State Sporting Association for Goalball. Check out their Facebook page for opportunities to be part of the SA Goalball community!