Team picture of the #FindTheNext Goalball Academy team on the water in canoes. All are holding their hands in the air and have big cheesy smiles!After month’s of planning, the #FindTheNext Goalball Academy (#FTNGA) recently came together for their first camp!

Alongside Goalball UK’s Summer Camp, we set up our base at the brilliant facilities in Nottingham Trent University and welcomed nine children and young people along for an action-packed week of fun!

The #FTNGA is a platform for young people who all want to develop as young adults and as goalball players. Everyone in the team is at a different stage of their goalball journey which makes it so unique! So much so for some that the #FTNGA is their first experience of goalball.

The #FTNGA stands by six key values, all of which supported us at the camp to successfully reacquaint ourselves with the goalball court and blow away the cobwebs. Each day had it’s own ‘key value focus(es)’, day one revolved around confidence and teamwork. This was a great opportunity for players and coaches to understand each other’s ability and test themselves on and off the goalball court.

#FTNGA team sat together in front of a goalball goal listening to Faye Dale and Tommy Britton.

Despite the camp only being a couple of days long, it is fantastic to witness the growth of the players abilities, as well as watching them build their confidence on the court.

The inaugural #FindTheNext Goalball Academy Camp was running alongside Goalball UK Summer Camp. On the first evening the two groups tested their knowledge on a number of topics, including Paralympic sports, in a quiz to get to know one another.

Joint camp quiz picture of both groups sat on grass patches either side of a path. Kathryn is revealing the answers to the previous round!

On day two, the focus was listening as the team took part in lots of activities designed to challenge them individually as well as a team. The #FTNGA is all about supporting the team’s development both on and off the court, with the team taking part in a mindfulness session with Natalie Herbert of Embrace Performance to learn coping mechanisms to deal with potentially stressful and overwhelming situations.

#FTNGA Camp reflection session, hosted by Natalie Herbert.

Day 3 (some would say the most exciting day) was spent at National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham with the focuses being trust and teamwork. The day was split into two with canoeing in the morning and raft building in the afternoon. Thankfully the rain held off and everyone had a great time getting to know one another in a very different setting to the sports hall!

The team stood together at the National Water Sports Centre wearing life jackets and smiling before going into canoes!

Check out next week’s #SummerSpecial to find out what both camps got up to on their last day!

Do you, or know someone who might want to be a part of the #FindTheNext Goalball Academy? Apply by THIS FRIDAY at 6pm to potentially join the team in their second camp later in August! Find all of the details via the link to the Apply to join the #FindTheNext Goalball Academy article.