Wide angle shot from behind the goal during a GB training camp showing three of GB Men in the far goal end ready to defend

We are excited to share that our new Performance Pathway Programme commences this weekend with the launch of the Goalball UK Centre of Excellence.

Based at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, the camp will take place over three days, supporting our talent, performance potential and high-performance athletes. Importantly we have ambition to use the camps to grow and strengthen our coaching pathway.

This first weekend will be heavily focused on the orientation of the new Pathway and will be the first of three pilot weekends before full selection in November this year. As well as the opportunity to play and train alongside the best players in the UK the camp will be focusing on several key priorities.

We will commence a Pilot for change Physical Testing programme, aiming to make our athletes the fittest they can be. A heavy focus will be placed on exploring throwing techniques and attacking play.

This will be supplemented by a workshop delivered by Tim Reddish (CBE DL). From lived experience as an athlete coach and administrator, he will speak about what it takes to be an elite athlete.

We welcome three new coaches to the programme who have a wealth of experience and success within performance sports. We will be sharing more information on them next week.

Also joining us will be Ferhat Esatbeyoglu, a world-leading goalball academic and coach, who will be supporting our coaching teams.

In addition, we are further developing our understanding of biomechanics in Goalball and welcome Freya Nuttall from Leeds Beckett University.

The Programme and the Centre of Excellence will develop, and we are speaking with academics, sports professionals, and heroes from the sporting world to create an exciting, innovative programme that engages and improves all involved.

Gary Fraser, High Performance Lead said: “This is an exciting period for goalball as we reshape our performance programme to inspire those currently involved and the athletes of the future. It has been in the makings for some time, and we have been afforded a gap in our calendar this year to implement these changes ahead of the LA 2028 Paralympic cycle. I’m grateful for all the support from partners, and members of our performance team in making this transition, and I look forward to working alongside an exceptional group of people as we strive to be successful on the international stage”.

Faye Dale, National Talent Lead at Goalball UK said: “It’s fantastic to be part of putting together this aspirational performance programme to benefit all players within the Pathway. Our first Centre of Excellence is just the start of building a stronger platform for athletes to develop and reach their potential. Over the coming years, we hope to identify new players, provide opportunities, and have the ultimate aspiration to be winning medals at all levels of international competition”.

Mark Winder, Goalball UK CEO: We have been working towards this collectively for the last five years. It feels like an exciting new start. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to getting us to this point”.

If you would like to support the Centre of Excellence please get in touch: enquiries@goalballuk.com.