The Goalball UK Youth Forum

The Youth Forum was set up in 2021 with the ambition to introduce a voice for the youth of goalball. Since then the group has evolved and developed with members assigning themselves specific roles within the group, allowing them to have the autonomy to work under the supervision of Goalball UK’s Children and Young People Officer.

One of the Forum’s main roles will be to plan, deliver, and undertake a fundraiser followed by an event using the money raised in the following year. The Forum had high ambitions for this and successfully climbed Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) in September 2023 to raise money for Summer Camp to return in 2024! The Youth Forum are now hard at work planning Summer Camp, so watch this space for more information…

Harry Bainbridge

Nottinghamshire Sheriffs Goalball Club

Harry in his pink Youth Forum hoodie

How did you discover goalball?

Around five years ago, I attended a taster session which was organised by Sight Support Derbyshire and delivered by Goalball UK.

Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?

I enjoy hiking in the countryside and meeting up with friends.

Why did you want to get involved in the Youth Forum?

I wanted to join the Forum after regularly engaging in Goalball UK youth initiatives and I am passionate about increasing the voice of young people in goalball!

Jacob Hare

Northern Allstars Goalball Club

Jacob Hare

What club do you play for?

I am currently a member of the Northern Allstars Goalball Club whilst I am studying at university, after starting my goalball journey at the Croysutt Warriors in Croydon.

Are there any other programmes you are involved with through Goalball UK?

I have recently been accepted onto the ‘#FindTheNext Goalball Academy’ and am hoping to continue working with Goalball UK in the future.

What do you do outside of goalball?

I also play VI cricket for Kent and have recently started playing VI football with Croysutt, I also take part in rock climbing and kayaking, all of which I really enjoy. As this may all suggest I am very outdoorsy and have been a member of the Scouts since I was 4, I am currently a young leader with our local Beaver and Cub sections.

Leo Johnson

South Yorkshire Goalball Club

Leo Johnson

How did you get involved with goalball?

I first became aware of goalball and blind and VI sports in 2017 when I went to a ‘have a go’ weekend at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford. However, it wasn’t until April 2019 that I discovered that there were places near me that I could play. I went to a Young Leader camp at RNC and met Kathryn who coaches for my area. She told me about a club that train in my area and I started going.

What do you do outside of goalball?

I am currently an A-level student studying Spanish, Maths, and English Literature. I haven’t fully decided what I want to do in the future yet however, I am determined and want to be able to achieve everything that a fully sighted person can and not let my visual impairment hold me back.

Outside of my education, I enjoy expressing my creativity through experimenting with applying and wearing makeup, which I have found accessible ways to do with my visual impairment. I also enjoy going for walks. I volunteer at a Cub Scout group as a Young Leader and I go on camps and hikes with them which are good fun.

What made you want to be involved with the Youth Forum?

I am passionate about making things accessible to people who are blind or partially sighted because I think that everyone should be able to achieve what they want, regardless of ability or disability.

Max Mackenzie

Birmingham Goalball Club

Max in his pink Youth Forum hoodie

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I play for Birmingham Goalball Club and have been involved in goalball since March 2019. I got into goalball as I was looking for a sport to get into since the diagnosis of my genetic condition, Bardet Biedl Syndrome, and I initially played rugby for a long time. Sport has been a big part of my life, which has enabled me to develop vital core principles throughout my time in sport, from the values of rugby: Respect, Teamwork, Enjoyment, and Discipline, which I hope to bring to the Youth Forum.

A person of respect, discipline, and hard work; giving one hundred percent effort. I am passionate about goalball, and throughout my time within the sport I have developed and grown as a person!

I have an enthusiasm for communities and a drive to make a positive impact within sport and society. I am excited to work with Youth Forum members to solve challenges and find solutions to problems, looking to provide opportunities and be a positive role model to both new and existing players through the Youth Forum. I am determined to hear everyone’s opinions and ideas on the Forum.

What do you do outside of goalball?

In my spare time away from the Youth Forum, I watch a lot of different sports; one of my many interests is being a huge Burton Albion FC supporter, where I can be spotted on match days at the Pirelli Stadium.

I am also heavily involved with local politics, engaged in communities, listening to residents in my local constituency, ambitious about improving inclusion within my local Labour Party and engaging with members to discuss disability issues. As well as a keen writer of poetry and an aspiring author.

What is something that inspires you?

One of my favourite quotes from one person that I do admire is the great Ayrton Senna – “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver”. You can interpret it how you wish but for me it is to show desire and ambition and that you have to take risks and make the most of the opportunities that arise.

Stuart Hudson

Northern Allstars Goalball Club

Stuart Hudson in his pink youth forum hoodie

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I have played goalball since I was 9 years old. I started playing goalball after attending a have a go session at actionnaires in Hull. I then got older and started to get invited to talent camps with Goalball UK. I was given the opportunity to become part of the GB youth team, then one thing led to another and I was competing in the European Para Youth Games where we got a bronze medal. After this I was then offered a place in the GB men’s senior team where I still am and am loving been part of the GB men’s team it is like a big second family.

What do you do outside of goalball?

I am a massive football fan and a season ticket holder for Nottingham forest. I go to as many games as I can, well when the stadium is open. I also have a passion for baking and cooking, although I do not like the cleaning up because flour can get everywhere!

What are you most excited for now that you are part of the Youth Forum?

Now that I am a member of the Youth Forum, I am excited for the opportunities that it is going to provide me and the new people I will get to meet along the way.

Terrelle Iziren

Croysutt Warriors Goalball Club

Terrelle in his pink Youth Forum hoodie

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into goalball?

I work for Groundwork London, supporting young people with social action projects to help them engage more within their local communities. Two years ago, an optician recommended goalball to me two months after I finished at Goldsmiths University, where I studied Politics and International Relations (BA). Having always viewed sport as a great way to keep fit outside of work, I thought goalball was a good option to try for the first-time. Since then, I haven’t looked back, completing my first tournament in February last year at intermediate level.

Why did you want to get involved with the Youth Forum?

Having represented my university as a student ambassador for two years and volunteered for my local youth magazine (Limelight Magazine) as sports editor for six years, I look forward to ensuring young people’s voices in goalball are heard.

How do you think the Youth Forum could be used to help young voices in goalball be heard?

This could be done through organising events, writing social media posts or blogs for Goalball UK to make young people aware that goalball is an accessible sport for all.

Chelsea Hudson

Northern Allstars Goalball Club

Chelsea in her pink Youth Forum hoodie

How did you get involved with goalball?

Since I attended a have a go session of goalball at the age of six, I fell in love with the sport. However, I was a bit too young at the time to play. At nine years old I attended my first goalball competition. A year after, I started going to talent camps and then experienced my first international competition at the age of thirteen for the GB Woman Youth team in France.

What is your biggest achievement within goalball?

My greatest achievement was bronze at the World Youth Championships in Australia. This was a fantastic opportunity.

What do you hope to do within the Youth Forum?

By joining the goalball Youth Forum, I want to spread the word of goalball to give someone else the opportunities and enjoyment that I have got from goalball over the past ten years. The Youth Forum will give me new skills and I will make friends along the way.

What do you do outside of goalball?

Outside of goalball, I love to listen to audiobooks and play my flute.

I also enjoy walking my dog on a weekend and going adventuring in forests, beaches, waterfalls, and lakes with my family unsure of where we are going or where we will end up!

Phoebe Mabey

New College Worcester Goalball Club

Profile photo of Phoebe, with New College Worcester buildings visible in the background.

How did you get involved with goalball?

I discovered and started playing goalball when I started at NCW (New College Worcester) in January 2020. Due to covid I wasn’t able to start to play goalball, however in October 2021 I finally started to play goalball and at my first tournament I scored 7 goals! I am coming towards the end of my time at NCW and not sure which goalball team I will play with once I leave. I am either looking at two possibilities which are Winchester or South Wales.

What do you hope to do within the Youth Forum?

I wanted to get involved in the youth forum to help young people with a vision impairment to find a passion for sports. Not only that but goalball isn’t that well known in the South West so I want to try and promote, not just for young people but also people in general around the South West so that they can also give it a go!

What do you do outside of goalball?

Outside of playing goalball I like to hang out with friends, sing, do some art and just chill out. I am currently in the middle of my GCSEs and about to leave NCW to go to a preforming arts college back at home in Somerset. The subjects I chose to take for GCSEs are History, Food Preparation and Nutrition as well as Drama.  I did used to play a bit of VI cricket for Somerset VICC however I only ever managed to play in friendly matches and never became an actual member due to me being at school too much.

As well as being apart of Goalball UK’s Youth Forum I take parts in other programs. I attend a drama group called UCAN which is based in Cardiff which is for people who are blind and vision impaired.  I am also also a Young Voice Volunteer for TPT (Tomas Pocklington Trust).