A large group of Winchester Goalball Club members pose around a birthday cake wearing their club kit

Winchester Goalball Club, set up by goalball Paralympian Adam Knott, has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary!

If you were looking for evidence of a legacy from the London 2012 Paralympics, then Adam’s idea for a local goalball club reaching ten years is certainly worth celebrating! After representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Paralympics, Adam Knott launched Winchester Goalball Club (WGC) in 2013. 

With no goalball club available in Southern England, Adam set out to create a London legacy for other blind or visually impaired individuals like him. Adam wanted others to experience this exciting and physical sport.

With help from Peter Symonds College (home to WGC), BBC Children in Need, and Winchester Rotary Club, the Club grew rapidly from that first session with three members to becoming one of the UK’s biggest and most successful clubs. 

Adam Knott, Paralympian and Founder of Winchester Goalball Club said “I am delighted that the Club has reached its 10th year! Since starting in 2013 I never could have imagined the success that the Club has achieved. A huge thank you to all our players, volunteers and supporters for all their work over the last 10 years” 

Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK said “Adam is truly committed to goalball. Without people like Adam acting as catalysts to develop goalball clubs around the UK we would struggle to meet demand. Right now, new clubs are starting up in Stoke, Watford, Oxfordshire and Blackburn. Running a goalball club takes commitment and passion, and who better to set up a club than a Paralympian! 

 “We’re incredibly lucky to have such dedicated individuals involved in the sport and the volunteers and players at Winchester Goalball Club are no exception. We wish them all the very best for the next ten years and can’t wait to see them flourish further” added Mark.

The London 2012 Paralympics were the last major international goalball competition held in the UK. This all changes in 2023 as the UK hosts the IBSA World Games 2023 in August across Birmingham, Coventry and surrounding areas. The World Games are one of three qualifying opportunities for the Paris 2024 Paralympics where Goalball UK’s Men and Women’s teams will be competing for a change to enter the Paralympics next year.

Goalball is a unique team sport for blind and partially sighted people which was originally created for soldiers who lost their sight in the second World War, debuting on the Paralympic stage in Toronto, Canada, in 1976.

Over the last decade, the Winchester Goalball Club has seen many triumphs across all playing levels of the game, from novice to elite level and even club players representing Great Britain across the men’s and women’s teams. Despite Adam now living and working in New Zealand, the Club continues under the stewardship of Bridget Knott (Adam’s mother) and a team of volunteers.

Winchester Goalball Club is now also a registered Charity and benefits from a strong team of volunteers who encourage, train and travel to tournaments to support the players. 

Now in this tenth year, the Club have re-launched their Junior Section welcoming eight aspiring new goalball stars for the future.

Congratulations to everyone at Winchester Goalball Club from the #GoalballFamily!

Adam holds up a ball in front of a goal with four young goalball players listening to him on the court

About Winchester Goalball Club

Founded in 2013 by Paralympian Adam Knott, Winchester Goalball Club is now one of the largest Goalball clubs in the country with players from 8 years old through to 50+ years old as well as a fantastic group of volunteers and parents.

The Club train on selected Saturdays, times dependent on age and ability, and players get the fantastic experience of travelling with the team around the country to national competitions.

Winchester Goalball Club prides itself on having a friendly, fun, inclusive and supportive ethos. 

If you would like to learn more contact the Club via email at winchestergoalball@yahoo.com or visit Club’s website at https://winchestergoalball.com/