Each 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 Matt Cliff!
What club do you play for or coach?
I play for (and coach) Mersey Sharks.
How did you discover goalball?
Back in 2009 I set up a multi-sports club called SAVI Northwest and as part of this we included goalball activities. I completed my Goalball Club Leaders award in 2013 but really just used this for delivering introductory level sessions, taster sessions and some goalball in schools. It was 2018 before I tried to play competitively. I really wish I had tried it much sooner! Now that SAVI runs the Mersey Sharks goalball team the opportunity is there for others to enjoy!
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 like anything that is lively to get me psyched up whether it be dance or cheesy pop music. Basically, good mood music!
Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
I’m usually too busy checking I have spare shirts and equipment for other players to get caught up in rituals as I get obsessed with being organised. I know I am a pain to my family around me when I am getting ready. Once in the minibus on the way to competitions though I like to just chill out and listen to music.
What is your favourite post-match meal?
I am usually too sore to worry about food but will have sweets of some sort in the minibus and then a burger or kebab with chilli sauce when I get home. That’s my reward for working hard!
Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?
It would not be fair to pick out just one player. I have found so many people so welcoming and so friendly. I have been lucky to attend some of the #FindTheNext talent sessions and it is clear that everyone just wants to help everyone else. It has been the same during competitions. I can think of a couple who helped us early in our local development and in our early tournaments but it wouldn’t be right to only single them out.
Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?
I like delivering multi-sports for visually impaired people. When I can find a front rider I like to tandem cycle and I also play VI cricket for Wavertree CC.
Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?
I would love to take my children to Australia. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.