To celebrate the Great British Week of Sport we are talking to members of the #GoalballFamily to find out more about other sports that they are involved in.
Today, we are featuring Sheraz Chohan from Lancashire Lions Goalball Club:
Having already been in the Lancashire Lions setup due to my involvement with VI cricket, we were looking to offer another sport and goalball was at the top of our list. Having Amjad Khan as a committee member who had a background in goalball was key, so we went ahead with introducing goalball. With us already having a club of around 40 members, it meant that we had a great foundation to build the Lancashire Lions Goalball Club, with 15 people turning up to our first ever session!
We all loved the fast paced, explosive nature of the sport and made our competitive debut in the 2015/16 season. The following season, 2016/17, we won the National League and since then the club has continued to develop and achieve more success.
I love the various levels within goalball, ranging from novice through to elite, as it is so welcoming to players of all ages and abilities. Also, as everyone wears eye shades it means we are all on a level playing field, regardless of our level of sight, so I think it takes away a bit of the fear factor as well.
I would say one of my favourite parts about being involved with goalball is seeing players progress through the ranks. For example, I take great pleasure in the fact that both Josh McEntee and Amelia (Meme) Robertson who are now key members of the GB setup started their goalball journeys with Lancashire Lions.
My first time coming across blind baseball was actually at a VI cricket session. I received a phone call from an Italian man asking if I would be interested in trying out baseball. Being a lover of all blind sports, my interest was instantly piqued.
We talked for a while and it just so happened that he lived very close to me so that night we met and discussed all things baseball. From this point on, we became great friends and my path into blind baseball was set.
I loved the independence I felt playing. I am able to run without assistance as the teams have a mix of sighted guides and base coaches clapping to act as audio markers for the next base. This paired with the feeling of striking the ball to try to score a home run was something I had never found elsewhere – I was hooked!
I have been to Italy three times to play and learn more about blind baseball. I am now working to grow the sport here with the UK Blind Baseball Association by running taster sessions and getting as many people involved as we can. Watch this two-minute clip of me and my Lancashire Lions teammates in action to find out more!