This weekend the Great Britain under 23 men’s goalball team are flying to Finland to compete at the European Para Youth Games (EPYG) – which is set to be one of the para sporting events of the summer.
The six athletes selected for the EPYG are Joe Roper, Naqib Ahmed, Stuart Hudson, Mo Ahmed, Sam Hoskin and Joshua Murphy. The squad will be coached by Faye Dale.
The competition is divided into two days of heats, with the top four from the group stage going on to qualify for the semi-finals and finals on Sunday.
The GB squad will face tough competition on Friday – starting the tournament against Germany, followed by matches against Italy and Hungry later in the day. Saturday will include games against; Portugal, Romania and the Czech Republic.
As this young squad continues to develop, the EPYG will be the biggest competition that have played in during their goalball careers. Joshua Murphy said: “It means the world to be selected for GB as I have aspired for years to get to where I am, it is a dream come true.”
Sam Hoskin commented: “Having played several tournaments over the last five years for various GB development and youth teams it is thrilling to finally be able to pull on the shirt for a full blown IBSA event.”
Faye Dale added: “This team has been developing well and continues to impress us all with their great levels of maturity when performing on the international stage.
“It’s vital for their growth as elite athletes to step out of their comfort zones and test themselves against goalball players from the across continent. This is set to be their biggest test to date, but we know their quality and are confident they have what it takes achieve the best possible result.”
The team would not be able to participate in such events without the support of organisations such as Forestdale Forum – who were kind enough to donate the cost of the teams playing shirts and off court GB kit.
You can follow the progress of the men from Friday by following @GoalballUK and @EYPG2019 on Twitter.