Each Thursday we want to put the spotlight on a person involved
with goalball – from players, officials to coaches, or anyone!
We want to use this opportunity where we have a bit more time on our hands to get to know you all a little bit better before getting back on the court!
As it was his birthday this week, we caught up with GB Head Coach Aaron Ford!
What club do you play for or coach?
I coach RNC Sports Academy (Novice through to Elite) and Coach the GB Women’s squad. I have also been known to play the odd game or two as well when we are desperately short of players.
How did you discover goalball?
When I began working at Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford in 2008. I held the post of Youth Leader for Sport and Leisure activities and Goalball was one of the recreational activities that I developed with our students. It was my first experience of the sport, we had little to no equipment, very few players and I wasn’t sure of the rules. We began training regularly, become involved with Goalball UK domestic competitions and took advantage of the support to develop as a club and for me to access some coach development opportunities.
Is there a particular song, artist or genre that you listen to before a tournament to get in the mood? Or anything you’re loving at the moment?
I don’t have a particular song or artist but have a preference to songs that (I think) I can sing along to. Whether that be in the minibus with students on the way to a domestic tournament or in the warmup hall with the GB ladies at an International competition. They all have to suffer me singing along to something, typically Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars or Adele are up there as favourites.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I have lots as I am a creature of habit. From always writing to the same template/system in my notepad, keeping myself busy and moving around, performing a routine/handshake with Becky (Women’s assistant coach) on the bench just before play is called, setting up the bench area how I like it, leading the pre-game GB call and constantly telling the players its just a ‘big blue ball’ and to play every shot one at a time.
Do you have a favourite post-tournament meal?
Rumour has it is I am partial to a McDonalds on the way home from competitions and the odd Mars bar during the tournament.
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
I honestly don’t have one athlete that I admire the most. I admire lots of them both within the UK and Internationally. I believe Goalball is fantastic sport that takes a lot of skill, hard work and determination to be good at it. I am privileged to work with the athletes that I have been able to and to travel the world to watch Goalball played at the highest level. I am inspired all the time by our athletes and have huge admiration for what they achieve both on and off the goalball court. So, that’s my diplomatic answer as its impossible to choose just one 🙂
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I attempt to play football every week with a group of friends but don’t have time to do to much other sport. When I was younger and less injury prone, I enjoyed playing Football, Boxing and going to the gym.
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
Paris (Specifically in 2024) as we want to go and bring back a medal for Goalball UK.