Goalball UK has made changes to its workforce structure to spearhead its capacity to build upon its impressive growth over recent years.

The new appointments see Alex Bunney move into a full-time position as participation lead and Steve Cox take the role of operation manager.

The role for Alex has been made available following Becky Ashworth’s yearlong secondment to Sheffield Hallam University, where she will be a sports lecturer.

Alex will continue advancing the impressive work he has already conducted for Goalball UK in London, as well as leading on projects nationwide.

He has worked closely with clubs to increase the awareness the sport in the capital. This has seen participation and opportunities for visually impaired Londoners to play goalball significantly grow.

Steve’s new role will enable him to develop and build more resource into Goalball UK’s workforce strategy.

This will allow the national governing body to enhance the experience for existing and new volunteers, as well as staff. Steve will also be responsible for increasing the number of opportunities for people to be involved with goalball outside of the court – ranging from coaching to officiating.

Goalball UK’s chief executive, Mark Winder, said: “Having the opportunity to give Alex and Steve more responsibility to grow the sport and lead on projects is really exciting for us.

“It has been a privilege to work closely with them both. We know all about their capabilities and what they can deliver now we are in the position to give them a bigger platform to excel in their respective roles.

“Both have invaluable experience of our programmes and club development plans. This is an important step for Goalball UK at a vital time as we aim to transform more lives than ever.”

Alex said: “I am delighted to build on the great work that has taken place at Goalball UK for several years now. Goalball has a really special community and this is what drives us to continue growing the sport.”

Steve said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with Goalball UK over the last few years, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the sport. The organisation is full of passionate and dedicated people – from the players, to the volunteers and workforce. Everyone has the ambition to make goalball as accessible to as many VI people as possible.”

Mark continued: “Becky’s secondment is a fantastic opportunity that will certainly help her grow professionally. Progression and self-development are at the heart of what we are about at Goalball UK and we wish her the best of luck.

“Her enthusiasm for goalball is infectious and her ability will be missed. We hope to welcome her back in a year.”

Becky said: “Working with Goalball UK for several years now has been a wonderful experience. The opportunity has allowed me to learn so much and be part of a team that is making a real difference to the lives of so many blind and partially sighted people.”