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.
Throughout the summer months in the off-season between Goalball UK National League campaigns many goalballers have found some extreme ways to push themselves to the limit when they’re not on the court…
In the summer of 2017, a group of Yorkshire based goalball players and coaches decided that, rather than just sit around and patiently wait for the new season to start, they would test their fitness by taking part in a Tough Mudder – a 10 mile run with over 20 obstacles to complete on the way!
The course was at Skipton in North Yorkshire and featured infamous obstacles such as:
· Arctic Enema – a plunge into an ice water swimming hole
· Augustus Gloop – a climb up a vertical tube with water gushing down
· Balls of the Wall – a climb up a 15-foot-high wall
· Block Ness Monster – a series of rotating blocks floating in water
· Everest – a run up a steep, slippery halfpipe
· Kong – a 30-foot-high ‘Tarzan’ swing
· Mud Mile – a succession of 8-foot-high muddy mounds
The participants were Anthony O’Keefe, Charlie Woodhead, Chris Davies, Gemma Bell, Kathryn Fielding, Meica Horsburgh, Phil Green and Rio Vasey – with additional support from some friends.
Individual physical and mental strength was required, combined with great team work to help push and pull each other up, over, around and through all the obstacles to make it to the finish line.
Before being awarded the coveted orange Tough Mudder headband though, there was one last obstacle – Electroshock Therapy. This was a field of, hard to avoid, dangling wires that provided a significant electric shock when touched and was definitely everyone’s least favourite obstacle on the course!
Richard ‘Chud’ Wheeler from Winchester Goalball Club is another goalballer that has tackled the ominous Tough Mudder course, not once but twice. He now has a third attempt planned for 2021, where he will be joined by his fiancé Harriet, exactly one week after their wedding – we think this is a great way to spend the first few days of a blissful marriage!