Goalball UK, the NGB for the only sport specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired (VI), has appointed their first National Schools Officer thanks to a grant from BBC Children in Need.
Stephen Newey will be responsible for delivering a program of afterschool goalball activities and competitive opportunities to blind, partially sighted and disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
Stephen said “My background is in school coaching and sports partnerships, so I hope to bring this expertise to my new role. I’m really excited to be spreading Goalball across the country, especially to this young people that have never experienced the game.”
This project comes courtesy of a grant of nearly £100,000 from BBC Children in Need, and will work with U11 all the way up to U18. There will be coaching for VI youth alongside their sighted peers and there will be opportunities to compete with other teams in the Goalball National Schools Competition Programme.
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK said: “All too often visually impaired children and young people struggle to find challenging and enjoyable activities.
“70% of the estimated 25,000 blind and VI children in the UK are in mainstream school. But it is a sad reality that many do not have equal access to sport in school due to their additional needs – isolating them from their peers and denying them the skills, exercise and psychological benefits of team sport.