Imagine kneeling in front of a large goal, wearing a blindfold and waiting for a very large and heavy rubber ball to come hurtling towards you. The only clue you have to the location of the ball is by listening for the sound of a small bell that is inside the ball. Welcome to the world of Goalball.
Invented as a means of rehabilitation for World War II veterans, the game of Goalball is now played by blind and visually impaired around the world and became a Paralympic sport in 1980.
The Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind has several students who play for the national team.
It is just one of the sports that the students at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind participate in, but it is the most popular by far.
With three players on each team, the aim of the game is to score as many goals as possible. To do this a player must roll or bounce the ball down the length of the court, past the opposing defenders and into the opponents’ goal
Sounds easy, until you realize the only way to indicate the location of the ball is to listen to the sound of the small bell. The three athletes on the opposing defending team will do anything they can to stop it passing them and into the goal; they will dive and throw themselves in the direction they think the ball will be rolling.
Cheering is not allowed at a Goalball game as the studnets must listen for the sound of the bell.
Several students from the Pattaya campus, both male and female, have represented both Chonburi and Thailand at national and international competitions, and with the start of the Goalball season soon upon us, the students in Pattaya are training several hours each day.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected].