We are delighted to announce that Goalball, will launch in Dorking, its first club in the county, on 23 August, in partnership with Sight for Surrey.
Goalball is the only sport invented especially for people with a vision impairment. Played with raised markings on the floor, blindfolds are used to ensure an even playing field as players locate the ball through sound. Currently, Goalball is the only Paralympic team sport for women and boasts a highly successful national women’s team.
The sport was originally developed to rehabilitate soldiers after WWII and has been enjoying a surge in support and participation, especially after its profile was raised at London 2012. In the past two years alone, the number of active clubs has almost doubled from 18 to 30 with Dorking becoming the latest location.
Unlike many disability sports, Goalball offers players the opportunity to progress from amateur to professional player in a remarkably short space of time: Adam Knott and Anna Tipton from the Men and Women’s GB Teams, found themselves competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games just two years after taking up the sport.
Bob Hughes, Sight for Surrey’s Chief Executive, says: “Goalball gives people with a vision 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 band together to make each team a success. Whether you aspire to being a Paralympian, or simply want to enjoy yourself and join friendly and supportive team, Goalball is an ideal choice.”
Mike Reilly, CEO of Goalball UK, added: “All too often, visually impaired people struggle to find a challenging and enjoyable activity developed specifically for their disability. 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.”
The first session with be taking place between 11.30am and 1.30pm at Dorking Leisure Centre, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1SN on 23rd August.