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 our online platforms so the Goalball Family can get to know each other a bit better ahead of getting back on the court and playing our sport again.
This week we caught up with Anthony O’Keefe.
What club do you play for or coach?
I play for South Yorkshire at Intermediate and Phoenix Blaze at Elite.
How did you discover goalball?
A member of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind mentioned goalball to me one day. So when I moved back to Sheffield, after finishing my studies at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, I went and had a go at it and have not looked back since!
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?
Not really, however I like signing football songs before we play to help get me hyped up! One of my favourite artists is the Arctic Monkeys, and I also like rap & hip-hop. My favourite Arctic Monkeys song is ‘One For The Road’.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
Not really, but I have to make sure my pads and kit are comfortable before I play!
Do you have a favourite post-match meal?
It usually ends up being pizza as it is quick and easy, and I find it good for refuelling after a long tournament! I quite like pizzas with barbecue sauce instead of tomato sauce, with chorizo and pepperoni.
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
Phil Green – from my first ever goalball session he has been ever present at training sessions and has always been there to offer guidance and knowledge, and has helped pass on his tips on techniques and playing the sport. I have been lucky enough to play on the same team as him as I have progressed through the sport, and on court he is really easy to work with and is a great team member!
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I am a big Sheffield Wednesday fan, and have been a season ticket holder at Hillsborough since 2013. I am an avid runner thanks to Kathryn Fielding, she suggested one year that South Yorkshire as a club should run the Sheffield 10k and I was the only one who ended signing up! Since then it has snowballed, and I regularly run at parkrun and have taken part in various distance running events including 10ks, half-marathons, marathons and a 30-mile ultra-marathon!
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
I really want to go to Istanbul to visit the Hagia Sophia as I am fascinated by the history surrounding it, and whilst I am there I would love to do the Istanbul Marathon which is one of the few marathons in the world to span two continents, Europe and Asia!