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 the opportunity where we all have to stay at home to get to know each other a little better.
This week we spoke to Alex Cockerham, a Goalball UK official, activator, coach and player!:
How did you discover goalball?
I am a Student Sport Activator at Sheffield Hallam University and on their Facebook page Goalball UK were advertising for goalball activators at a tournament in Sheffield. I was free that weekend and wanted to see what the sport was all about; I’ve been hooked ever since! Something I love about goalball is that the opportunities are endless. I’ve been lucky to have experienced the sport as an activator, official, coach and a player!
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?
There isn’t a song I routinely listen to before a tournament, but I enjoy listening to anything that has a beat to it and gets you going in a morning.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I can’t think of any pre-game rituals but when I’m officiating, I always have my whistle in my left hand. It doesn’t feel right any other way.
Do you have a favourite post-match meal?
Has to be McDonald’s to use my employee discount card.
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
I think everyone in goalball is an inspiration in their own way. I have been conducting research into the people involved in goalball for my undergraduate dissertation and it’s clear that everyone has faced challenges that they have overcome to be involved in the sport. It’s amazing to see everyone improving in their role and contributing to the community spirit in goalball that is so infectious. Officials wise, I love getting to learn from officials like Dina Murdie, who is so experienced and has officiated at the highest level in goalball and is a bit of a celebrity in the Goalball UK community.
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I live and breathe sport, but I would say outside of goalball my favourites are football and running. I support Hull City (Up the Tigers!) and attend games whenever I can. With running I am working towards running 100 park runs (when everything gets back to normal!) and eventually enter a marathon.
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
If I had to choose one, it would have to be to see Machu Pichu in Peru. I went to Peru in the summer to volunteer at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games but didn’t get the chance to travel around the country itself. Speaking to the local volunteers it was always something they said anyone travelling to the country has to visit.