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Goalball players and coaches wanted!

York St John Inclusive Activity Club is holding a free goalball open day between 12.15pm - 2pm on Saturday 20 October for potential players, coaches, officials and anyone generally interested in the sport to come along and learn more about it.

Goalball is a fast-paced sport played by visually impaired athletes who wear black-out masks. Two teams propel a ball across a marked rectangular court, each team attempting to roll it across the opponent's goal line while the other team attempts to prevent this from happening. The game is played with a bell ball made of hard rubber with holes in it, so players can hear the ball as it moves.

The goalball open day at York St John University has been organised in partnership with Goalball UK to help build on the popularity that the sport gained at London 2012.

Robert Avery, senior lecturer in Health and Life Sciences at York St John University and volunteer goalball coach, said:  “Goalball gained lots of new fans, even royalty, at this year’s Paralympics and we want to see it continue to grow in popularity. It’s a sport that anyone can play. One of the great things about goalball is that it’s inclusive, masks have to be worn so vision isn’t a barrier. Our open day is an opportunity for anyone who would like to play, coach or just find out more about the sport, to see demonstrations, have a go themselves and hopefully really enjoy goalball.”

The Inclusive Activity Club was established by a York St John University student, Simon Kumar, in 2009 to give students and York’s disabled community the chance to try exciting activities. Staff, students and alumni volunteer to run the activities including York Goalball Club which was launched in January 2011 and now the biggest club in the UK.”

Robert Avery adds: “One of our players Jamie Hodgson began playing goalball in January and has already been scouted by Team GB. He has his sights on the Rio Paralympics, which really shows what can be achieved. It’s a fantastic sport that helps build confidence and coordination as well as being social and fun, we’re really looking forward to introducing more people to goalball at our open day.”

York St John Inclusive Activity Club is always looking for volunteers and players, to find out more please visit http://www.ysjiac.org/ or call Robert Avery on 01904 876968.