Image shows Gemma mid run with her guide runnerEach 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 Gemma Bell!

What club do you play for or coach?

West Yorkshire

How did you discover goalball?

I was at Sight Village Manchester in September 2015 and spoke with Kathryn Fielding (on the Goalball UK stand). She told me all about goalball and it sounded really interesting – I had played lots of sports, including football, before losing my sight. A couple of weeks later, I went along to a ‘This Girl Can’ session in Leeds. Despite walking like a 90 year old for a couple of days afterwards, I loved it! I thought if it’s making my muscles this sore then it must be good for me! Although I actually live in Lancashire, I have been a member of West Yorkshire Goalball Club ever since.

Image shows Gemma stood with her West Yorkshire teammates following a tournament. They are proudly wearing their medals in front of a Goalball UK banner.

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?

If we are in Kathryn’s car then we usually play ‘radio roulette’ with Louise Simpson singing her head off! Before a game, or when I’m out running or in the gym, I like upbeat music. The last gig I went to was Pink.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

I always have to put my right sock on before my left sock and then my right trainer before my left trainer. I also pray that I’m not going to get injured as I have a habit of breaking fingers!

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

Before a tournament I often have a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin but afterwards I’m not as particular – basically, I just want lots of carbs!

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

Phil Green. Helping other players to develop is more important to him than winning. He will always adjust his game accordingly in training and will encourage everyone in games in tournaments.

Image shows Gemma working out in her garden, she is part way through performing a squat

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

I enjoy running so I’m really looking forward to parkrun returning. I also enjoy going to the gym. I like to do weights. Not to get big, just to stay strong.

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

I would really like to go to New Zealand as everyone who has been says that it is amazing. The bonus is that it doesn’t have lots of dangerous snakes and spiders like Australia does! My biggest regret when it come to travel is that I never got to see the Grand Canyon before losing my sight.

If you would like to be featured on a future ‘Featured Thursday’, please send us a message on social media or via email:

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