The 2017 Hells Bells (Queensland Goalball Championships), held for the first time outside of South East Queensland on 15-16 July in Cairns, was a resounding success welcoming 24 players, 4 coaches, 8 referees and numerous supporters.
With members of the Aussie Storm (men) and Aussie Belles (women) playing as their final preparation for the Asia Oceania Regional Championships in August, the competition was fierce.
In the women’s event Team Purple (pictured right) emerged victorious after three hard-fought games against Team Yellow. Nicole Esdaile was named as the Women’s MVP.
The three men’s teams played a full round robin before Team Navy (Michael Sheppard, Sam Byrne and Thahn Tu) took out the grand final over Team Green. Playing in his 20th consecutive Queensland Goalball Championships, Michael Sheppard took out the Men’s MVP Award.
This year saw the highest number of Junior/Youth players in the event’s history, with Team Cyan (pictured below) taking out the final over Team Orange. Local Cairns junior Sidney Whipp was awarded the Junior/Youth MVP.
Sport Development Coordinator Robyn Stephensen was really happy with the success of the event.
“Being the first time in a new place you have little worries about how everything will go, but everything ran very smoothly and there were some great skills on show all weekend,” she said.
“Feedback from all of the players and coaches has been very positive. The Cairns community turned out to support us, many seeing the sport for the very first time.”
Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association would like to thank the Cairns Goalball Committee, led by Belinda West, for all of their hard work in helping to pull this event together. Thanks also to all of the volunteers and officials who ensured the event ran so well.
Hosting the event in Cairns was only possible due to a Special Initiatives Grant from the Queensland State Government, and we look forward to our return to Cairns in 2019.