Each week we are digging through the Goalball UK archives to look back at some of our favourite memories from the sport from years gone by.
At a time when we would have been excited for the start of the Paralympics in Tokyo, we’re revisiting the launch of our campaign to get everyone in the mood for one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
On 25th August 2018, two years ahead of the originally scheduled start of the Tokyo Paralympics, we launched parkrun to the Paralympics. This challenged the goalball family to run the distance from the UK to Tokyo at parkrun events up and down the country.
This equates to a whopping 9,440km and 1,888 parkruns!
Originally it may have seemed impossible, but goalballers around the country made an incredible effort. Before we had to temporarily pause the challenge because of the lockdown measures, you all covered an amazing 6,218km. This means that there is only 3,222km to go when we can start parkrunning again!
On average 15 goalballers took part each Saturday morning. A special mention to Chris Payne from Derbyshire Ducks Goalball Club, who is the top contributor with 82 parkruns completed out of a possible 88 since August 2018.
Phil Green from West Yorkshire Goalball Club is not too far behind with 73 parkruns completed since the launch of parkrun to the Paralympics.
Many have also been inspired to visit other parts of the UK to get their parkrun fix. Kathryn Fielding, Phil Green and Stephen Newey displayed admirable commitment to exploring the world of parkrun, when they travelled down to the Bushy parkrun in London from Yorkshire. Setting off at 4am, they drove over 400 miles, spending over seven hours in the car, to run 5k in less than 30 minutes!
Not even holidays abroad could stop the goalball family from doing their weekly parkrun. Anthony O’Keefe, from South Yorkshire Goalball Club, and Steve Cox, from Goalball UK, managing to squeeze a quick 5k in their respective trips to Florida and New York.
Even some of the younger members of the goalball family have been getting involved. As well as running, Winchester Goalball Club’s Bobbie-Jack Spencer-Sallis volunteered at the Basingstoke Junior parkrun – once as a funnel manager and twice as a marshal.
As soon as it is safe to do so, we know many of the goalball family will be eager to return to their local park to complete the challenge – in the meantime, we would love to hear your parkrun memories, or your favourite park to do a 5k!
For more information on our parkrun to the Paralympics and how you can get involved, click here!