Abu-bakr Ishtiaq meeting Paul Pogba, football player of Manchester United.
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!

This week we caught up with Abu-Bakr Ishtiaq of Lancashire Lions!

What club do you play for or coach?

I play for Lancashire Lions.

How did you discover goalball?

I first played goalball when I was studying at Queen Alexandra College (QAC) in Birmingham. When I moved back home, I played for Rochdale and then Lancashire Lions.

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 like most genres of music apart from Heavy Metal! I especially like RnB, Hip Hop, Arabic, Asian and Bhangra. My favourite artists are Shakira, Beyonce, Little Mix, Four of Diamonds and Drake.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

Not really. I usually have cereal and tea for my breakfast and then wait for the minibus to arrive to take us to the tournament. When we arrive at the venue, I just get myself ready to play!Lancashire Lions Novice team getting a team photo post North region tournament in Sheffield. Abu-Bakr is in the back row on the right.

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

I like Mexican chicken with egg fried rice or noodles.

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

Amjad Khan. He is a very experienced player who I have known for a long time.

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

I am a big sports fan. I play cricket, baseball and tennis. I have also been to the Metro Blind Sports Games and competed in shotput, discus and javelin. I like watching football and support Manchester United. I also like watching cricket. I went to Old Trafford to support Pakistan when they played England this summer and Test Match Special tweeted about me! Follow this link to check it outAbu-bakr Ishtiaq posing in his Pakistan Cricket shirt.

Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?

I have been to Italy (to play baseball) and to Pakistan (to visit family). I have also been to Dubai and Saudi Arabia but the one place that I would really like to go to is Australia (to watch cricket). I want to see what it is like on the other side of the world!

UK Blind Baseball Team Photo - Abu-bakr Ishtiaq is pictured at the back in the middle.

To check out the rest of the articles from our ‘Featured Thursday’ series please use the following link Goalball UK – Featured Thursday