Blind Sports Australia, with Goalball Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee are pleased to advise that both the Australian Women’s Goalball team (Aussie Belles) and the Australian Men’s Goalball team (Aussie Storm) have been awarded a place in the Goalball World Championships in Sweden in June 2018.
The Australian Women’s team are currently ranked 7th in the world, and the men are ranked 23rd. This invite is very exciting for the goalball community in Australia as we have been working hard to provide opportunities and pathways for athletes with a vision impairment. Our senior players are now being rewarded for this commitment to training and competitions to become elite athletes and represent their country.
Aussie Storm players Michael Sheppard and Jon Horsburgh are excited at the opportunity ahead, “It has been a long time since an Australian men’s team has qualified for a world event in Goalball. It’s been a tough slog, especially in such a competitive region as Asia Pacific, but after a four-year re-building phase our hard work and sacrifice is paying off. We are working hard to continue improving so we can take it to the best in the world.”
Goalball is a Paralympic sport for people with a vision impairment. Goalball enjoys great popularity in Australia and around the world and was the 2nd most popular spectator sport at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. You can check out this amazing sport on YouTube at these links:
Goalball is a fast and exciting game where vision impaired athletes try and roll or bounce a bell-ball into the back of their opponent’s goal. The game is played by partially blind and totally blind athletes and because of this all athletes are required to wear totally blacked out eyeshades to ensure a “level playing field” for all participants. The ball weighs 1.25kg and has bells in it so the players can track the ball and try and prevent it from scoring. Once blocked that team retrieves the ball and hurls the ball at the opposition team to try and score themselves. The fastest throwers in the world have been timed at throwing the ball up to 90km per hour! Needless to say, the thought of blocking a 1.25kg ball with your body when you can’t see it coming and it is travelling up to 90km an hour means that this game is not for the faint hearted!
For more information, you are welcome to contact Pam Hyden, Goalball Australia President at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mob: 0420 207 712.
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