Each Thursday we want to put the spotlight on a person involved with goalball – from players, officials, coaches, or anyone.

This week we caught up with Grant Mallabar!

  Lancashire Lions group photo at a novice tournament with 4 players wearing their gold medals, with coach Matt Woofe to the left of the team.

What club do you play for or coach?

I play for Lancashire Lions.

How did you discover goalball?

I moved to Manchester in September 2021 and was looking for a hobby to get involved with. I had never been involved in VI sports but found out about the Lancashire Lions club when looking on google and have been loving goalball ever 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?

Before tournaments, I don’t really listen to music as we all tend to travel down as a team, so we just get chatting. My current favourite artist is Sam Fender who I’ve been listening to a lot and recently saw him perform live in Berlin which was unreal.

A group photo of a group of people at a concert, including Grant Mallabar. The stage is in the background which has bright lights at the top, and a blue backdrop.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

I’m personally not someone who has superstitions, but I make sure I have everything packed the night before a competition so I’m not rushing about in the morning and to make sure that I don’t forget anything.

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

Honestly, I love a takeaway so anything unhealthy really! My go to is a parmo but that’s more of a North East thing which I struggle to get in Manchester so pizza/Indian/McDonald’s/Five Guys.

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

I’ve not been playing goalball long but the two players that stand out to me are my teammates Matt Woofe and Sammie Korosi. Matty’s shots in training are ridiculous and Sammie’s defence is insane. I’m not sure how it would work with her being Canadian, but GB ladies should give her a call!

Grant stood in a field during a concert with lots of people behind him.

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

I enjoy a lot of running and going to the gym. My main hobby is football, being a Hartlepool and Liverpool fan. I used to love playing football when I was younger but struggle too much now with my eyesight, and this is where my love for goalball comes from. The high intensity of the game is the closest thing that I have found that can replace football! I have also had the opportunity to go over to Italy recently with the UK blind baseball team which is a great up and coming sport in the VI community in the UK – anyone interested in having a go should get in touch with John and Nathan who are the coaches (ukblindbaseball@gmail.com).

UK Blind Baseball team photo at a tournament in Italy. British Blind Sport staff member Alex Pitts is with the team who are all wearing their prodominately white jerseys with blue writing.

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

One place I would love to visit is Australia. I’ve been fortune enough to have been to many places in Europe and to have visited America. Now I want to tick Australia off the list. The problem with this is finding the time to go for a long enough period of time to make the 24-hour flight times worth it!

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