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York St John University hosts national Goalball tournament

York St John University hosted one of the largest Goalball tournaments in the UK on Saturday, the John Oakley Memorial Tournament, with spectators coming to watch novice teams compete from around the country.

Goalball is a Paralympic sport, designed for people with a visual impairment where two teams of blindfolded players attempt to score in the opposition's goal by tracking the path of a ball by sound alone.  The goal is defended by players' bodies, much in the same way as a football goalkeeper would.  Because all players are blindfolded and follow the sound of the ball with bells in it, the game is open to everyone, whether they have a visual impairment or not.

Dean Armstrong, Development Officer for Community Sport and Knowledge Exchange at York St John University, describes the benefits of hosting the event at York St John University:

"As part of the University's mission to become a recognised centre for inclusive sport opportunities we are thrilled that we have been able to host such a big event in the Goalball calendar at York St John. We're delighted that some of our students had the opportunity to be a sighted guide or a goal judge for the matches. This equips them with skills that will ultimately aid in their employability after university."

York Goalball Club was launched in February, as a partnership between City of York Council, York St John Inclusive Activity Club and YSJ Active. Despite only recently forming, the team were the surprise success story of the day and went home with the silver medal in their first ever competition, with the more experienced Worcester winning gold and Nottingham in the bronze position. The team was made up of Louise Redsull who only discovered goalball in January, Sidney Tambin, Chelsea Greeley and York St John students Kev Lowther and George Gibson.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk


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