A group of Goalball UK volunteers and activators pose together for a smiley photo at an event

It’s Student Volunteering Week and we’re celebrating some of the wonderful student volunteers that have helped us over the years. Today we hear from Felicity Jackson.

Where were you studying and what were you studying when you became a Goalball UK Activator?

Sheffield Hallam University, studying Sport Business Management.

How did you find out about volunteering with Goalball UK?

My lecturer Becky Ashworth first mentioned it to me during a seminar as she is involved in the sport and previously worked for Goalball UK. Then, when I was looking at potential short placements, I came across a position at Goalball UK which looked like it was right for me as it was a role I wanted to try and would like to do in the future, so I was delighted when I was offered the position as Assistant Events Officer.

What were your first impressions of goalball?

When I first came to goalball, I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t heard a lot about it. My first impression of watching the sport was just impressed by the level of skill and how different the sport is compared to many others I have seen. The whole Goalball UK team were so inclusive and friendly as soon as I arrived and throughout my 6-month placement I made great bonds with the team, there is a real family feel between players, coaches’ volunteers and employees.

What activities have you taken part in?

I had great opportunities offered to me at Goalball UK such as undertaking the courses that were paid for by Goalball UK

– A 6-hour Emergency First Aid at Work Course

– Delivering a Goalball Club Leaders Course

– Goalball School Leaders Course

I also helped to organise and attend Goalball UK’s first female open competition to support the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, this was a unique opportunity that I thoroughly enjoyed.

What has been your favourite experience so far?

My favourite experience that was offered to me after I completed this placement was volunteering as an Official at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games 2023. This was held in August in Birmingham and once in a lifetime opportunity. I can now say I saw the behind-the-scenes planning that goes into preparing to host a major international Paralympic event as well as volunteering at it.

Would you recommend volunteering to a friend?

Yes, I definitely would. If you step out of your comfort zone and volunteer, you will discover incredibly different and unique people whom you may have never crossed paths with otherwise. It is also very rewarding and bodes well for future employers who have seen you go the extra mile.

What advice would you give to a student who is thinking about volunteering with Goalball UK?

I would suggest going for it and you will be so surprised by the incredible people you meet, how welcoming everyone is and how much you fall in love with the sport. It’s unlike any sport I have seen or participated in before and it is such a great opportunity so it’s definitely worth giving it a go.
Felicity on the left of the photo is stood with other staff from Goalball UK in the sports hall for the Goalfix Cup 2023
Three goalball officials stand in the centre of the court at the IBSA World Games. Felicity is on the left.