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 Kyla Smith!
What club do you play for or coach?
I play at Novice level for South Wales.
How did you discover goalball?
I didn’t really play sport at Primary and Secondary school as it wasn’t accessible but when I started at RNC, in 2013, I met Megan Price and she told me about goalball. I was curious to find out more about it so I decided to try it on a Wednesday afternoon as part of ‘Learning and Leisure’. I liked it. It’s a fun, competitive sport that makes me happy.
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?
That’s a tough question! I don’t really have a favourite. I’m just a music lover in general with the exception of metal! I like listening to a real variety from pop songs to love songs to folk songs. Before a tournament I like something with a fast beat to make me feel energetic and get me in the mood, ready to play.
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I make sure that I’ve got everything that I need packed in my bag including enough food and drink to get me through the day. I also make sure that I do a good warm up.
Do you have a favourite post-match meal?
I usually treat myself to a takeaway. A BBQ pork pizza from Pizza Hut with cheese triangles and a bottle of 7-up is good!
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
It’s got to be Megan Price. She introduced me to the sport at RNC and we now play together at South Wales. She is so strong. Nothing hurts her on court. She is so positive and enthusiastic.
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I like going for walks with my guide dog Molly. We will sometimes go into town and have a coffee at Costa. I also enjoy playing Nintendo Switch games. I enjoy socialising which at the moment is mainly on Zoom or Facebook. I am also a mentor for Look. I never had much support as a young visually impaired person so being able to help someone else is really rewarding. I listen to their challenges and share with them my experiences, signposting them to solutions and opportunities.
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
I would love to go to Disneyland in Florida and do everything possible! – including going on all the rides, meeting all the characters, staying in one of the themed rooms (at the hotel) and eating lots of food!