Goalball UK Development Officer Chris Davies has been named Team Leader on the ICS REACT Project in Ghana. Also named among the 10 UK volunteers are Sal Gamil of the Birmingham Barbarians Goalball Club and Richard Wheatley of the London Elephants Goalball Club.

This project is being run by International Service in partnership with Team Insight founded by GB Goalballer Georgie Bullen, and the International Citizen Service (ICS). The aim of this project is to challenge the stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities, particularly people with visual impairments across Northern Ghana.

The project will involve teams with a mix of 20 young people from the UK and Ghana, with and without visual impairments. Over a period of two months inclusive sports such as goalball will be used to help raise awareness of visually impairment in the region.

As well as generating interest in goalball as a sport in communities and nationally, the volunteers will provide training to players, coaches and referees.

With the aim to make goalball more sustainable in Ghana, the team will attempt to equip local people to develop inexpensive resources using local materials enabling communities to hold their own goalball games.

Chris said: ”I feel honoured to have been accepted onto this project, especially as a team leader. I have been involved in the sport of goalball as a coach and referee as a volunteer and then through my role as a Development Officer.

I have seen first-hand how this inclusive sport can transform people lives. I hope to use what I have learnt from working with Goalball UK to benefit this project.

To have the opportunity to use goalball as a vessel for change in another country is an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. I am so excited to be part of such a special and unique project and to work alongside such an incredible and diverse group of volunteers.”

When asked how he was feeling about the project Sal had this to say: “Coming from Yemen at a young age – I can appreciate the difficulties VI people face in countries where there are fewer resources to help them reach their potential. 

I’m very passionate about community development – so there was never any doubt that I’d be applying for the project.

While I’m in Ghana, I look forward to working with the community and ICS volunteers to help address the inequality that VI people face. Hopefully, I’ll also return to the UK with some new friends, great experience and a few more games of goalball under my belt!”

The team would like to be able to take out some resources with them that may benefit the people that they work with and the project. They would like to take out things that are not widely accessible in Ghana such as canes, goalball balls, shades and playing kits etc. Therefore, if you have any of these things that you no longer need and would like to donate, please email contact Chris on 07454 280274 or chrisjrdavies@hotmail.co.uk. Thank you!

Click here for more information about the project.