Megan Smithson-Booth is hoping to keep her Paralympic dream alive by fundraising for career saving surgery. Follow this link to donate to the fundraising campaign.
Megan is part of the women’s goalball Great Britain squad and is one of the youngest members of the team aged just 19.
Goalball is a fast-paced Paralympic team sport for people who are blind and partially sighted. It is played by two teams of three players. The objective of the game is to score by using a range of techniques to shoot the ball along the floor into the opposition’s goal.
Megan requires immediate surgery that will not only save her sporting career, but also drastically improve her quality-of-life now and in the long term. The operation is on her hip and will be completed over a two-year period, while requiring a significant amount of rehabilitation.
With medical support from TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) and financial assistance from Backing the Best – two of the sporting partners that have supported Megan’s goalballing journey – there is £5,000 left to raise so that Megan can get the medical attention she desperately needs.
Originally from Leeds, Megan now resides in Hereford at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC). She joined the college in 2018 after leaving school and exploring post-16 specialist education providers.
Following a short period at RNC, the college’s environment allowed Megan to gain more independence and she was introduced to goalball. Since then, she has become a formidable force within the Great Britain ranks, despite her tender age.
Alongside her talents on the court, Megan is an incredibly popular figure in both the domestic competition scene, Great Britain camp and on the RNC campus. Her positive and ambitious mentality, for both the sport and life in general, makes her an extremely engaging and treasured individual. Moreover, Megan is also known for her incredibly supportive nature with her goalball teammates, the wider community and her fellow students.
Making her senior international debut against Russia – the European and World Champions – at the Pajulahti Games in Finland in 2019, Megan was then selected for the Great Britain team that competed at the Youth U19 World Championships in Sydney, Australia.
This competition was a real milestone for Megan and firmly cemented her status as one of the most promising young goalball players in the country. She played every minute, impressing coaches and fans of the sport with a series of commanding displays, which resulted with the team earning a bronze medal.
Following this success and the momentum that Megan gathered, she was called up for the senior Great Britain squad for the European A Championships in Germany.
This competition was the final qualification event for Tokyo 2020 and the last major one before the pandemic halted competitive competition.
And while it ended with disappointment as the team narrowly missed out on qualification to the Games, it demonstrated that Megan has the ability and determination to compete at the sport’s highest level. This surgery will not only salvage her blossoming goalball career, but give her a new lease of life and the best possible opportunity to accomplish all of her dreams.