Sue Manton and her family doing the Westminster mile.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 Sue Manton!

What is your role within the goalball world?

These days I’m an occasional table official at tournaments but I have also been a coach (of a school team that represented GB in Florida), a goal judge (at Paralympic games in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and London) and an official. In the early days of goalball development, I worked with the Youth Sports Trust, training trainers for their SportsAbility programme. I also worked with the East Midlands Exam board to have goalball accepted for GCSE PE.

Sue Manton stood in a photo with other table officials at the National League North tournament in Sheffield.

How did you discover goalball?

Way back in 1991, Mick Sullivan from the local society for the blind introduced me to goalball when I joined the education service for the Visually Impaired (VI) in Leicester. I was working at a mainstream school with a VI base and as a former PE teacher I was interested in the diversity of the PE curriculum.

Newspaper article featuring two goalball players in Leicester. It discusses the development of goalball in the area.

Who is your favourite artist and what is your favourite song by them?

I’m going to say ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon as I heard it this morning, but I listen to and enjoy anything really. I miss Top of the Pops! My generation discovered the Beatles – I regret not seeing them in Leeds when I had the chance. I also like Bob Dylan, Bob Marley and Van Morrison and I remember seeing the Beach Boys at an early pop festival.

What is your favourite meal?

I quite like an English Breakfast or egg and chips but don’t have either very often as I try and eat healthy stuff.

Which person do you admire the most and why?

This has been a really good exercise for me as I don’t often reflect on things. I think that the combination of Sport and Volunteering is very special and rewarding. Add an enhanced sense of humour and you have the people I admire most. I found a scrappy bit of paper when I was looking through my memorabilia on which I’d copied down the words written on the mascot ball of the Canadian Women’s team (Paralympic champions in Sydney and Athens). They were:

  • Go hard or stay home.
  • No adversity is insurmountable.
  • The will to win fails without the will to prepare.
  • A smile can be created in one single moment, but a single moment can last a lifetime.
  • The price of success is hard work.
  • Dedication to the job at hand and the determination that whether we win or lose we have applied the best of ourselves to the task in hand.

London 2012 goalball volunteers featuring Sue Manton, Hannah Webber, Kathryn Fielding, Alex Bunney and more!

What are your hobbies?

I love theatre. I have 2 actor daughters who are married to actors which makes life interesting and unpredictable. I also play tennis, parkrun and walk and I like sewing, knitting, cooking and baking.

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

There’s nothing on my bucket list as I’m fortunate enough to go where life takes me. I’ve travelled to many parts of the world; via goalball including Poland, Australia, Bulgaria and the USA; mountaineering and skiing with my husband to the Alps, Peru and Argentina; and following my family of actors in the USA (e.g., San Diego, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Denver and New York) as well as towns and cities in Great Britain that I wouldn’t normally visit.

Another newspaper extract about Sue Manton's contribution to supporting the growth of goalball in Leicester.

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