Team GB (Great Britain) Women have qualified for the IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation) World Championships 2022, to be held in Portugal from 4-17th December 2022.
The event will be held in The Sports and Congress Center (Centro de Desportos e Congressos) in Matosinhos.
Team GB could be up against competition from teams from Portugal, Turkey, United States, Japan, Israel, Algeria, Brazil, Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Canada, Australia, France, Argentina, and Mexico.
Team GB Women are currently ranked eleventh globally and sixth in Europe with the United States taking the top spot globally. In Europe Turkey are currently ranked number one.
The most recent IBSA Goalball World Championships took place in Malmö, Sweden in 2018.
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK said “We are incredibly proud our Women’s team who have secured a place at the IBSA World Championships. We have invested significantly in our Talent and High-Performance Programmes as we aim for Paralympic Qualification. Our ambition is high, and we hope this is a platform for all our Teams.”
Gary Fraser, High Performance Lead at Goalball UK said “Gaining qualification for the IBSA World Championships is a brilliant achievement and we must congratulate the players, coaches, and support staff for all their efforts getting to this point. This presents the first Paris 2024 qualification opportunity in the cycle, and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the best teams in the World. We have shown we can compete against the top goalball nations, and we look forward to doing so again later in the year. Individually and collectively, we will learn a lot.”
Aaron Ford, Head Coach for Team GB Women said “As a group of players and staff we are ambitious and want to demonstrate that we can compete with the best teams in the world. We now have a fantastic opportunity to do this, maximising all 3 opportunities to qualify for Paris 2024 and competing against the best along the way. The IBSA World Championships will be an excellent learning opportunity for our young athletes who are working hard in training and determined to fulfil their potential. This presents a chance for us to continue to develop in realistic competitive and pressurised environments building on our already strong culture and ensuring we take these learnings into other qualification events in 2023’’.
Goalball is a team sport for blind and partially sighted people. It’s played all over the world and there is no able-bodied equivalent.
Goalball UK are the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport in the UK. The NGB provides and promotes sporting opportunities for anyone who is blind or partially signed and wants to play. Players compete nationally and internationally in Novice, Intermediate and Elite leagues with two national teams representing Great Britain.
Stay tuned for squad announcements in the coming months.