Georgie playing goalball

Georgie, aged 27, has Macular Degeneration. She's been playing goalball since she was a teenager and is now a visually impaired Goalball Paralympian, competing for Britain internationally.  

Goalball designed for blind and partially sighted people

“Goalball was designed for blind and partially sighted veterans after World War Two. The game is played on a volleyball sized court, with a goal the full width of the court at each end. The ball is the size of a basketball, but heavier with bells inside. With three people each side all blindfolded, the aim of the game is to throw the ball at your opposition to try and score in their goal. You dive across the floor to try and block the ball coming into your goal, using your body. It’s all about split second reactions, concentration and is both a power and endurance sport." 

Not finding sport accessible growing up 

"I’ve always enjoyed sport, but being at a mainstream school, it was hard for me to participate, because there weren’t any games for partially sighted people. But since then, I’ve gone on to become a Paralympian, representing the UK for 12 years in the sport."

Getting into the Paralympics 

"Age 14, I went along to a Paralympic talent identification day and the next thing, I was training with the GB Women’s and Men’s Goalball Team. I was fast-tracked onto the team, which was a sink or swim situation. In just a few years, I went from being unaware of the sport, to being in the starting line-up of the GB Women’s Team that competed at the 2012 Paralympics. I’ve now competed in eight European Championships, the 2012 Paralympics, a World Championship and two Paralympic qualifiers. The dream is a Paralympic medal."

Future plans 

"We’ve been invited to quite a few international tournaments, and are the official reserves for Tokyo, so there’s still the chance that we might get to compete in the Paralympics. For now, we’re focusing on our European Championships.

"I’d say there's no such thing as a non-sporty person, you just need to find the right sport. Whatever the game, it’s not just to do with being fit or competing, but how it makes you feel. I enjoy goalball so much, there’s no way of replicating that adrenaline rush from winning a game."