Tom Dobson smiling, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the backgroundEach 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 Tom Dobson.

What is your role at Goalball UK?

My role at Goalball UK is ‘Club and Competitions Development Officer’. This is split into two separate roles; one half involves me delivering all of the Goalball UK National League tournaments across the country. The second half of my role, is to help clubs develop to become the best that they can be. This can be support in finding funding, players, venues or coaches. Also, if there is interest in goalball where we haven’t got a club then I will support development of setting a new club up.

Goalball UK's Tom Dobson posing in front of an ice cream advertisement board with a goalball in his hand and a thumbs up!

How did you discover goalball?

My first experience of goalball was when I first started at Goalball UK (over 2 years ago – scary!!) and I helped Faye to deliver a talent session at The Factory in Birmingham. Bearing in mind I didn’t have any idea of the rules, I was coaching on the side and spoke to the players while they playing! Hence, Faye gave an ‘Illegal Coaching’ penalty against me, something that Faye reminds me every so often and something that I won’t forget again!

Is there a particular song, artist or genre that you listen to before a tournament to get in the mood?

During lockdown, I have started listening to podcasts; Under the Cosh and Signing the Blues (Obviously being a Sheffield Wednesday fan, but we don’t talk about football…) so this is something that I will probably keep listening to en route to competitions. Any type of music in the car is normally good for me!

Goalball UK National Talent Camp 2019. This image shows Tom Dobson looking onto a goalball game.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

I don’t think I have any pre-game superstitions, as normally on a tournament day I am helping players and clubs to make sure that they are in the correct place ready to start the game on time!

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

I don’t think I will be alone in saying this, but as Goalball UK staff we are super super healthy when we have a post tournament meal!

By saying super super healthy, I mean McDonald’s! We always have to find one to ease the journey home!

Goalball UK Clubs and Competitions Officer Tom Dobson dressed as an elf for the staff Christmas party in 2018!

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

It is very difficult to admire just one individual within the goalball family as everyone has their own and very different story. Going to every tournament and club session gives me great pleasure to work alongside people who want to develop as players whilst not letting their sight impairment get in the way!

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

Outside of goalball, I play a lot of golf (but not too well), this takes a lot of my time but I am a season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday (must be delirious watching that) which also takes a lot of time and headaches!!

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

There would be a few places on the bucket list that I would love to visit at some stage, but they would have to revolve around cricket! It would be a dream to travel with the ‘Barmy Army’ and watch England overseas in Australia, but also the West Indies and South Africa to name but a few! There may be chance but we will have to see what happens in the future.

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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