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 Jade Puckering!
What club do you play for or coach?
I play for York.
How did you discover goalball?
I first heard about goalball when I was a student at RNC. I didn’t play there though, instead, I went along to Birmingham Goalball Club. I played in my first Novice tournament for them in Reading in January 2018. I was rubbish! I didn’t score any goals and kept getting lost. I started going to York sessions in October 2019 as by then I had finished my studies and moved back home. I played in my first Novice tournament for them in Sheffield in January 2020.
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?
I have lots of different genres on my playlists including some rock n’roll and country that is influenced by my dad. You Me At Six and Fall Out Boy are probably my favourite bands. I’m also a massive Ed Sheeran fan. I would love to go see him live sometime.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
Not really. I just try and stay relaxed before a tournament and treat it like a training session. It’s important to enjoy yourself. If you take it too seriously, there is the risk that you get anxious or frustrated. You need to ‘dive within your limits.
Do you have a favourite post-match meal?
Before a tournament, I usually have something quick like pasta so that I can then have an early night and sleep well. I’ll then have a coffee in the morning and lots of snacks throughout the day to keep my energy levels up so, afterwards, I am never too hungry.
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
I admire the coaches involved in goalball. They are all really good. They are patient and have helped me to improve and achieve things.
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I am a qualified open water scuba diver! I also like playing blind football. Most of my free time though is spent looking after my guide dog, Oliver. I do lots of talks to school and community groups and take him with me. I am passionate about raising awareness of visual impairment. There is a stereotype that blind people are just old people who can’t see anything and can’t do anything. I like to prove them wrong!
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
I want to go to New York. I live in a rural village so going to such a big city would be exciting. I would also like to go to Disneyworld in Florida again.