With three weeks to the start of the 2015 Australian Goalball Championships, preparations are well underway to host Australia’s best goalball players in Ipswich, Queensland on 1-4 October.
Goalball is a tough indoor team sport for athletes with vision impairment. It involves blindfolded players throwing themselves in front of a ball travelling up to 80km/hour along the court as opponents try to score a goal.
Around 200 players, coaches, officials and volunteers will be involved in the event, which will feature players from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Competition will be held at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School and Bremer State High School, with up to 10 games played per day.
Event Coordinator Robyn Stephensen said the competition would be tight across the men’s, women’s, mixed youth and mixed junior divisions.
“Each state brings their toughest competitors to the nationals and this year will be no exception,” said Stephensen.
“It’s an important event for a number of the elite players who are preparing for international duties at the IBSA Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships in China in November. These championships are the final qualifying tournament for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.”
“It will also be exciting to see the new talent coming through our junior and youth ranks across the country.”
As well as champion team honours in the four divisions, players will be vying for Most Valuable Player, Highest Goal Scorer and selection in All Star teams.
Admission to the championships is free and spectators are encouraged to come along and support the athletes.
The championships will be broadcast live on the Disability Sports Network (www.disabilitysportsnetwork.com)
Download the Australian Goalball Championships flyer.