Blind sports: Goalball

Goalball2I enjoyed volunteering with the Vancouver Goalball on multiple occasions recently and I want to share goalball with you! I highly recommend checking out this sport if you’ve never heard of it or seen it.  The athletes are fun to be around, and they’ll even blindfold you and let you try if you want to 🙂

What is goalball?

 

  • Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for blind and visuallyGoalball impaired athletes. How cool is that a sport that was specifically created for people with disabilities, rather an adaptation of an existing sport
  • All athletes wear eyeshades so that everyone’s vision is completely blocked
  • The ball has bells inside it and players use the sound of the bell to track it position and movement.
  • Goalball athletes throw the ball that across the court into the opponents goal, and use their bodies to block the ball from going in their own net.

How was goalball invented?

  • It was created as a means of assisting the rehabilitation of visually impairedAmanda_Goalball WWII veterans.

What is something unique about goalball?

  • Goalball spectators must be silent so players can hear the bells in the ball. However, during breaks and when a a goal is scored, you cheer to your heart’s content.

Is goalball a Paralympic sport?

  • Yes! Tune in a Rio 2016 Paralympic goalball game this September and cheer on our national team! Goalball has been an official Paralympic sport since 1980.

Where can I see goalball up close in the Vancouver area?

  • Vancouver Goalball Club, which includes Canadian National Goalball team members that are going to the Paralympics (amazing!!), practices here in Vancouver.
  • You can send me an email at shannayeung@gmail.com and I’ll get you in touch with them
  • Our club Vision Health Volunteers is courting the idea of asking VGC to do a demo on UBC Campus so if you’re interested and send me an email, this will be more likely to happen.

I’m interested in volunteering. What can I do?

  • Be a goal judge, ball retriever, game timers, high-ball judge,  help set-up and take down the court for the Vancouver Goalball Club. Practices are usually in the evening.

Thank you to John Tee for getting me interested in goalball!  John plays for the Canadian National Goalball team. I befriended John volunteering at an outdoors camp for children that are blind and visually impaired and ever since he’s introduced me to different blind sports.

Supplemental information source: http://paralympic.ca/goalball and the Vancouver Goalball club website

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