What is your role at Goalball UK/within the goalball world?
GB Women’s Assistant Coach.
How did you discover goalball?
I was fortunate to get my first ever job in goalball back in 2013 and since then I have not stop talking about this amazing sport! I first started as a development officer and I would have to say when I first ‘discovered goalball’ was on my first day of work when there was a National Paralympic Day at EIS in Sheffield and I had a go. Being enthusiastic for the new job I got straight into having a go and put the shades on to defend a shot by ex-GB star Adam Knott. Unsurprisingly, it hit me straight in the face and I quickly learnt the importance of your top arm whilst defending!
Is there a particular song, artist, or genre that you listen to before a tournament to get in the mood?
Prior to the major competitions I usually create a motivational video for the squad and the songs we have used for them are typically added to the playlist we listen to in the warm up. The type of genre on this playlist I would classify as pop anthems, something that helps us get in the mood before the games, and it has also occasionally been the soundtrack for a few dance offs over the years!
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I would have to admit that myself and Aaron Ford (the head coach for GB Women Squad) have a few pre-game superstitions / rituals at major competitions. These can vary from which kit top we are wearing that day or a bit of organised fun before we start our pre-game routine. We ensure that we follow our routine which starts about an hour and a half from start of the match as it helps all players and staff get in the right mind set. Immediately pre game there are few things I like to do, whether its help motivate the team, check the posts and tape on court or welcome the players to the court once they have been patched. And then as a team we do a group huddle to go over the plan one last time. All of this ends with my final ritual which is a fist bump between Aaron and I after the referee has announced the teams for the match.
Do you have a favourite post-match meal?
I think post-match for both players and staff it is important to eat enough food so that we are all ready for the next days of competition. Food at competitions can be very hit or miss (usually miss) so typically I take a good supply of snacks for when we are away. I do like a good cup of Yorkshire tea (as strong as they come) and a Graze bar in my down time whilst away.
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
There’s many players I have come across both domestically and internationally that truly I admire, but the ones that come to my mind straight away are the players that I have had the pleasure to work with in the GB squad, both current and past players. The amount of effort, determination and motivation I have witnessed over the past 5 years have been inspirational and has filled me with many memories that I will cherish forever!
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
Away from goalball I am big football fanatic and it was great to finally see Liverpool lift the title this year. I also play a sport called korfball and since lockdown have really got into running and cycling. I would always try my hand at any sport and gave paddleboarding a go a few weeks back which was a lot of fun!
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
Through goalball I have been very fortunate to have travelled to a lot of places all over the world, with Japan and Israel by far being my favourites. However, a place a little closer to home is still one I am yet to go to, and it happens to coincide with a major competition in a few years time… This place is Paris, so it would be amazing if my first time being in this city happens to be during Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and seeing both GB squads competing, this would be an absolute dream!