Goalball UK was proud to host Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, one of Great Britain’s most decorated Olympians, at the Goalfix Cup in Nottingham.
Katherine, who now occupies the role of chair at UK Sport, took the opportunity to hear about many different elements of the sport – from grassroot to elite level – at Goalball UK’s most prestigious competition.
During her visit, Katherine passed on some words of wisdom to goalball’s GB women’s squad, who will be competing in America next month in a bid to secure a spot at the Paralympics next year in Tokyo.
She also enjoyed several matches that took place at the Goalfix Cup, which saw Northern Allstars claim the gold medal after an exciting day of action.
Speaking about Katherine’s visit, Goalball UK’s chair John Grosvenor said: “We enjoyed welcoming Katherine into the goalball family for the day. It was a great opportunity to show her what our sport is all about in a competitive but relaxed atmosphere.
“Goalball is a rapidly growing sport and it is testament to the progress that been made – from the grassroots to the elite level – that the chair of UK Sport takes the time to visit us personally and support our aspirations.”
Sarah Leiter, one of the athletes that will be representing Great Britain at the Goalball International Qualifier next month, said: “It was an amazing experience to meet Katherine – she is someone that the whole squad looks up to.
“Having someone like her speak to us about the hard work and commitment involved to reach the pinnacle of their sport, and ultimately winning gold on the world’s stage is invaluable. The tips she gave us about how to manage the pressure of big competitions is sure to be great asset for us in America next month.”
Katherine also congratulated Kathryn Fielding, who has recently been awarded a with a British Empire Medal for her outstanding contribution to disability sports. Kathryn has spent over 15 years tirelessly creating goalball opportunities for visually impaired people all over the country, helping to reduce isolation in this community by harnessing the power of team sport.