Despite the challenges we have all faced, lots of great things have happened in the goalball world in 2021. Over the next four days in the run up to 2022, we will be looking back on some of those!

Starting with January, February and March!

Despite being in another lockdown, Goalball UK encouraged everyone to start 2021 in an energetic and upbeat way with our #GetFitStayFit campaign led by GB players Kali Holder, Dave Scott, Josh Murphy and Megan Smithson- Booth.

We also began our ‘Positivity Programme’ which consisted of Mindset Mondays, Workout Wednesdays and Fun Fridays. Mindset Mondays covered a range of topics including 2 ‘Time Outs’ – one with GB Head Coaches Aaron Ford and Faye Dale and another with Goalball UK Referees Robert Avery and Stephen Newey – whilst Workout Wednesdays had us star jumping in our front rooms and Fun Fridays had us competing against each other in silly challenges and games like scavenger hunts!

On February 4th, ‘Time to Talk’ Day, the Goalball UK team picked up the phone to have individual chats with members of the #GoalballFamily. Everyone then came together on Zoom on February 26th to celebrate Goalball UK’s 11th birthday with a special quiz. This coincided with the launch of our Visionaries Campaign which included the announcement of our new Patrons and Ambassadors.

The front cover of the Visionaries brochure showing 2 players, wearing eyeshades, with goalballs in their hands.

Following on from this, we introduced you to the members of our newly formed Youth Forum and, with a Return to Play getting closer, we also encouraged everyone to get active by taking part in our #5kDay as well as starting our ‘Goalball Giveaway’.

Other good news from the start of 2021 included Faye Dale and Becky Ashworth being selected for the UK Sport Female Coaches Leadership Programme and the receipt of additional funding from both the UK Sport Continuity Fund and the UK Sport National Squads Support Fund. Goalball UK were also named as finalists in the Diversity and Inclusion category at the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards.

So, a great start to the year!

We caught up with Yusuf Huraira (from Birmingham Goalball Club), who was appointed as Chair of the Youth Forum, to find out more about what they have been doing in 2021 and what they have got planned for 2022:

“We have been meeting formally approximately once per month and we all now have defined roles such as Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Lead, Engagement Lead, etc. So, we are learning and developing transferable skills.

We have written a Mission Statement and a Vision as well as Terms of Reference. It’s not all work though! We also have social meetings every couple of months. For example, we recently had a quiz.

Next year our aim is to hold a Fundraising Event and possibly organise a joint Conference and Have A Go Day with British Blind Sport.

In the new year, we are going to be advertising for 3 new members so if the Youth Forum sounds like something you would like to get involved in, please do apply. Further details will be available soon.”

What a year 2021 has been, this is part 1 of 4 of our 2021 – A year in goalball series, check back in tomorrow for part 2!