Warren Wilson mid Goalball game just standing up and about to throw.

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 Warren Wilson!

 What club do you play for or coach?

Cambridge Dons

How did you discover goalball?

I wasn’t really sporty at school. I didn’t like the competitive side of it. Having said that, I did like an informal kick about with mates outside of school and I cycled lots and generally kept fit. I lost much of my sight in 2009 but I continued to keep fit and enjoyed trying new things. I discovered goalball when I was trying to set up a blind football team in Cambridge. It proved difficult but someone who worked at the city council told me about goalball instead. During 2011 we had a few taster sessions and on January 13th 2012, the Cambridge Dons Goalball Club had their first official training session on a dirty school dining hall floor! After getting pretty filthy and a few awkward moments with arms flailing everywhere, I was hooked.

Warren being lifted by the rest of the Cambridge Intermediate team. Warren appears to be loving it!

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 really enjoy music but, for me to be playing at my best, I need as few distractions as possible so that I am as focused as possible. Having said that, if I’m going to listen to anything on the lead up to a tournament, it might be something like The Pixies – something that can be sung along to or gets the blood pumping.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

Not really although I like to be able to try and get myself mentally prepared. That might involve being by myself for a little bit to get myself into the right frame of mind to play at my best.

Warren and the rest of the Cambridge team stood together in front of a Goalball UK banner.

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

Soppy answer here, but my favourite post-match meal is something together with my teammates. For me, a big reason why I love our sport is for the community. I’ve made so many great friends through goalball.

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

There’s a few, it’s difficult to pick one. I guess I’ve seen Sarah Leiter from her first training session with Cambridge to the point she is at now – a member of the GB Women’s team. Also, knowing her personally, I know what an incredibly hectic life she manages to balance with work, goalball and a decent social life. I don’t think many people could manage those things as well as Sarah does. I’ve also played goalball with her for so long now, I really enjoy when we are playing with each other and are just in the zone, it’s sometimes like we instinctively know what the other one is doing.

Warren Wilson, Sarah Leiter and Emily Watton stood together at an award ceremony.

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

I mainly like socialising with friends. I like to keep fit by doing free weights, running and cycling but don’t really do any other sports. I do of course enjoy following the mighty Cambridge United Football Club. Eurovision also holds a prominent place in my calendar!

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

I would like to go to Japan as, in my head at least, it is far removed from our western way of life so it would be good having the chance to immerse myself in Japanese culture for a bit. If my bucket list place was about sport though, I would love to go to an F1 race. Maybe the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. I’m not a Ferrari fan but I’d love to soak up the atmosphere from the Tifosi. Monaco would also be a fun track to be at. It doesn’t really offer the best races, because frankly its a ridiculous track, but I’m sure the spectacle would come alive being there for real.

Warren Wilson coaching a group of junior players during a goalball session.

If you would like to be featured on a future ‘Featured Thursday’, please send us a message on social media or via email: enquiries@goalballuk.com

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