Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Goalball continues to transform lives in Winchester

Goalball is a team sport which is growing in popularity, and Winchester is leading the way.

Players compete in teams of three, to try and throw a ball, which has bells inside it, into the opponents' goal.

It is one of only a few sports that can be played by blind and partially sighted players, as well as those with full sight, as each player is blindfolded to make it a level playing field.

Goalball was created in 1946 to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers returning from World War Two.

"A lot of visually impaired students struggle with PE at school and struggle to do other team sports because it's not easy to do sports with fully sighted people because you are at a disadvantage so goalball puts everyone on a level playing field and gets everyone to work together so for people who are visually impaired, it's a great way to meet other people, share stories and be involved in a team sport."

– Adam Knott, Paralympian & Coach

"I've been thinking what sport can I play and then goalball came up and I thought yes this if for me."

"You can make new friends with people who have the same disabilities as you. It's fair and it's fun."

"We had an experience day when we could bring a friend along who is fully sighted and Kate really enjoyed it and carried on and you can understand what it's like to be a visually impaired person a little better."

"It's nice to have a sport you can talk about because other people do contact rugby which we wouldn't be allowed to do so it's nice to have something we can share with everyone else."

– Players
Credit: ITV News Meridian

Winchester goalball was set up in 2013 and is one of the biggest clubs in the country. Its members range from 8 to 50 years old.

The sport is now played in 100 different countries.

Winchester's goal is to be accessible and fun and perhaps even creating new Paralympians for the future.