January 28, 2016, by Laura Estrop
Try something new and discover your passion!
By Liam Mackin
Hi! I’m Liam, a visually impaired student and a member of the Nottinghamshire Sheriffs Goalball club. I want to share with you how my first year as a Sheriffs member has helped me and why you should try this exciting sport.
A game of goalball is made up of two teams of three blindfolded players, who throw a ball (with bells in it) from end to end of the court trying to get it into the opposition’s goal. You have to use your hearing to track where the ball is going and be a little brave when trying to stop it. I love the game because it’s fast; amazing fun and also because you get to meet some fantastic people!
I started playing when I was 14 at school and the Sheriffs were a reason why I decided to come to University in Nottingham, I knew I would get a chance to play and train with them regularly.
I went to my first training session at the end of my first week at university and knew straight away that I’d made the right choice. The players and coaches were so friendly and welcoming and after a couple of hours of training I already felt like part of the team.
Over the next couple of months, I spent almost every Saturday I had free training and travelling to and from sessions with my teammates. I have also played for the intermediate team in a number of competitions all over the country. Although competing can be a bit nerve wracking, I really enjoy working as a team and the camaraderie that the players have on court. The hard work is made all the more worthwhile when we come home with a medal in our back pocket!
The club has three different teams within the club: novice; intermediate and elite and as I have quickly learned, there is the opportunity to progress up through the teams if you put the work in.
In goalball I’ve found a sport that I absolutely love, because as a visually impaired person it’s a sport that I can play as part of the team. There are plenty of opportunities to find out more about goalball and the Sheriffs and I would encourage anyone to take one of them! We always welcome new players and volunteers. We’d love to see some of you at one of our club training sessions over the next year.
Liam will be competing in a regional intermediate competition for the Nottinghamshire A-team in Winchester, this Saturday, 30 January 2016. It’s the second regional competition of the season and Liam will be looking to better the silver medal he won last October. We wish Liam and the team the best of luck for the weekend!
If you’re interested in playing goalball our Club sessions at Sutton Bonington Sports Centre run every other Saturday from 11am-1pm. They’re only £3 per session or £5 with transport! Why not make 2016 great by discovering your new favourite sport? You can also find out more about all the disability sports we have on offer on our website or like our Facebook page.