St Ivo School in Cambridgeshire hosted a goalball session for students as part of the Paralympic sports National School Programme, delivered with Living Sport and local sight loss association Camsight.
Goalball is the only team sport that has been specifically designed for people with a visual impairment and was originally devised as a rehabilitation programme for blind and partially sighted soldiers returning from World War II.
It is played by two teams of three and the objective is to throw the ball past you opponents in the nine-meter-wide goal. As the sport is played with blackout goggles anyone can participate, allowing visually impaired and sighted people to compete on an even playing field.
The students were introduced the sport from experienced Goalball UK coaches and Great Britain goalball athlete, Matt Loftus. During the session students were given tips on how to improve their technique and playing style, such as developing communication skills that help identify the location of the ball and who is in play.
Last year, Goalball UK was awarded a grant of nearly £100,000 from Children in Need to deliver goalball activities to blind, partially sighted and disadvantaged children and young people.
The project works with U11 all the way up to U18, coaching VI youth alongside their sighted peers and giving them the opportunity to compete with other teams.
All pupils attending enjoyed the day and were signposted to local goalball clubs Cambridge Dons who train at Cherry Hinton Leisure Centre in Cambridge and Fen Tigers who train at Neale Wade School in March to be able to further the goalball skills and meet like minded individuals to have fun, socialise and progress to competitive level if they wish.