To celebrate the Great British Week of Sport we are talking to members of the #GoalballFamily to find out more about other sports that they are involved in.
Today, we are featuring Nick Burr who plays for Cambridge Dons Goalball Club.
In 2016 I met Warren Wilson, the chair of Cambridge Dons Goalball Club, and he invited me to take part in a training session. I decided to give it a go. My initial impressions of goalball were great. The fun, welcoming environment really made me feel at home. Everyone was so laid back and I became great friends with them all.
I started off playing at Novice level but after only one tournament I moved up to Intermediate. I think it’s great how there are different competitive levels within goalball and feel like I have found my perfect level at Intermediate.
I had tried other blind sports but hadn’t found one that I really clicked with until I found goalball. I just loved the sense of freedom that came with playing. Being able to move around the court using the tactile lines, as opposed to being shouted at by a guide, gave me a real sense of independence that I hadn’t felt elsewhere. I can’t get enough of goalball and the adrenaline rush you get from scoring is unmatched for me.
One of my favourite personal memories is winning gold at a regional tournament and winning silver at the Intermediate finals.
I also really enjoy our social activities. It’s great to sit down and enjoy time off the court with my friends from the club. I think that is hugely important. We are all close and I think that shows on the court too!
I really miss goalball and can’t wait to get back on court. I’m glad I managed to get to the last Intermediate tournament before lockdown!
Golf is something I have always played. When I lost my sight, I didn’t want this to change so I joined England and Wales Blind Golf. For me, quite a lot of it is muscle memory. I know what I am doing and how to do it, I just need to be guided.
I went on a golfing trip that was four nights of golf, accommodation and food for me and my guide at just £100 – a bargain! It was a great experience although it was very difficult because they banded together all categories of visually impaired players, so I was playing against people who had some useful vision.
Having been a player before I lost my sight, I have a marker of where I was and where I am now. It’s interesting to see how my game has changed.
I just find being out in the open, enjoying the fresh air whilst hitting a golf ball can’t really be beaten. I love playing a full round of golf although it just takes too long – sometimes six hours! I have a four-month-old child and so don’t have the time at the moment but I really enjoy getting to the driving range.
One of my favourite moments from golf was managing to get par on a par four hole, I felt a real sense of accomplishment after managing to sink the putt – what a feeling! Like goalball, I love the social aspect of golf, being able to spend time with my friends is great and it is something I look forward to regularly. You can watch me in action on this clip from the BBC.