On Thursdays we put the spotlight on the people involved with goalball – from players, officials, coaches, supporters and more.

This week we caught up with Anna Martin

Anna stood with other Goalball UK referees in official kit
Anna stood holding a goalball in front of her academic poster

What club do you play for or coach?

Within Goalball UK I am an activator and a referee! My PhD research is also focused on goalball, so my current day-job is working in and around understanding the relationship between vision and individual performance in the sport.

How did you discover goalball?

I first came across goalball through my PhD, having not known much about it previously. Once I’d started the project, my family and friends started to remember seeing it at the Paralympics at London 2012 – and now we are all invested!

Is there a particular song, artist or genre that you listen to before a tournament to get in the mood?

My favourite song is probably Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves, but you can’t go wrong with any of the ABBA hits!

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

I wouldn’t consider myself that superstitious, though I would never hang a horseshoe upside-down!

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

You can’t go wrong with a pie!

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

Allyson Felix is a big advocate for Women’s Sport which I love. Her work highlighting issues surrounding pay cuts from sponsors during and after pregnancy, along with designing female-specific products, has definitely progressed women’s sport – she’s an amazing athlete too!

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

I love being outdoors and living close to the Peak District, we’re often out and about in the hills. Also, spending time with family and friends, visiting charity shops and drinking caramel lattes keeps me happy!

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

New Zealand is absolutely on the bucket list. My Nan and Grandad toured around both islands on their first retirement trip and it just looks and sounds amazing – my sister has already been, and Mum and Dad are going next year so I’ll be the only one that hasn’t!

Anna smiling for a selfie whilst on a hike with a river and forests in the background
Anna smiling for a selfie stood on a balcony with a sunny harbour view in the background

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