Emma Evans has been presented with Goalball UK’s Keith Lound Memorial Award, recognising her commitment and outstanding service to the sport for blind and partially sighted athletes.
The annual award is given to someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist in the development, facilitation and improved participation of the sport. It can go to anyone involved in goalball – ranging from players and coaches, to officials and volunteers.
Emma has had a long history within the sport including coaching, playing and referring. She first became involved when her sons started playing, supported them as they went on to compete at elite club level and represent Great Britain internationally. This inspired Emma and her sons to form Fen Tigers Goalball Club in their home town of March, Cambridgeshire.
Since then, Fen Tigers have gone from strength to strength becoming one of the most prestigious goalball clubs in the UK. With Emma at the helm, she guided Fen Tigers in a coaching capacity to international success at the Malmö Open European Goalball tournament, taking home the gold medal earlier this year.
By tirelessly promoting the sport and raising over £50,000 for Goalball UK in the last two years, Emma has created goalball opportunities for visually impaired people, helping to reduce isolation in this community by harnessing the power of team sport.
Speaking about the Keith Lound Memorial Award, Emma said: “It is a really proud moment for me to be recognised by Goalball UK with this award. There is a real family feel throughout every facet of goalball in the country and what we have achieved couldn’t be done without the amazing support we have had.
“We are already looking to the future and at how we can continue grow the sport, not only in Cambridgeshire with the Fen Tigers, but nationally too. Goalball players get so much out of the sport – from physical and wellbeing benefits, to competing across the world – it really offers something for people of all abilities. It a really exciting time to be part of the goalball family.”
Mark Winder, chief executive of Goalball UK, said: “Emma would be an asset to any organisation. She has been a wonderful ambassador for Goalball UK since becoming involved in the sport.
“She is instrumental in the operational side of Fen Tigers who have thrived over the past two seasons. In addition, Emma has supported Goalball UK in fundraising and has helped us to raise a staggering amount that has been essential as the sport continues to grow.”