Goalball UK has announced the six women that will represent Great Britain at the IBSA Goalball International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.
The squad competing for a place at Tokyo 2020 is Sarah Leiter, Antonia Bunyan, Georgie Bullen, Amelia Robertson, Kali Holder and Lois Turner.
An experienced four-person coaching team will be joining the players in their bid for a place at the Paralympics next summer. This will be Aaron Ford (head coach), Becky Ashworth (coach/team leader), Faith Fisher (physio) and Hannah Levi (support staff).
Achieving a spot will be the second time ever a Great Britain team has qualified for the Paralympics. There was previously British representation in goalball at London 2012 as hosts, where the women’s team reached the quarter-finals, and at Sydney 2000.
Speaking about the squad, Aaron Ford said: “We are all really excited to get to Fort Wayne to compete against some of the best teams in the world.
“This squad has been working together for a while now and have gained invaluable experience competing at many international competitions over the last few years. They have developed a magnificent spirit throughout the squad and their quality is undeniable.
“We know what the team is capable of achieving and everyone wants to realise a dream. The hard work starts now, and the women are determined to come back qualified as Paralympians.
“Making the final selection is the toughest thing about being a coach as we have so many incredibly talented players coming through the programme. The women’s game in the UK is in such a strong position with fierce competition for places.”
The women’s GB squad fly to Fort Wayne on 28 June, ahead of the competition getting underway on 2 July, where they will face China, Israel, Australia, Germany, Korea and Spain in a group of seven.
To follow the progress of the women’s GB team, live broadcasts of competition will be available when competitions gets underway from 2 July on the IBSA Goalball Facebook page and IBSA’s YouTube channel.
The IBSA Goalball International Qualifier is one of two opportunities to qualify for the Paralympics – the women’s GB squad will also compete for a place at the European Championships in Germany later this year.
For more information about the competition, please visit www.ibsafortwayne2019.com