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President’s Blog: Goalball Review Taskforce

Date: January 8, 2024

Category: Goalball

In recent visits to Asian Paralympic Games in Hangzhou, Saudi Games in Riyadh and the European Goalball Championship in Montenegro for our Goalball events I met with the leadership of this great sport plus coaches, players, fans and other interested partners.

All expressed real pleasure at the way in which the sport has progressed in recent years. Of course, they would say that! But as your President I felt that they really wanted to take this sport to the next level. But what is that level and how to reach it are important questions?

A further question I posed to myself was – are these just the expected opinions of goalball fanatics?

And then I remembered the social media statistics that came back from the last year’s European Paralympic Championships in Rotterdam which showed that goalball streaming had received among the highest rating from that age group of young adults that is such a much sought after target group of sport and commercial entities.

I then looked at our own statistics:

– 1,200 plus active international athletes registered

– 25 plus major annual competitions on the IBSA calendar

– More and more goalball clubs across the world every year

With so much activity, and particularly within an international sport it is inevitable that different interpretations of the laws/rules of the sport, refereeing standards, classification, equipment used, streaming of matches, sponsoring, branding and much more could occur.

And so in agreement with the Chair of IBSA Goalball we decided to establish a short term Goalball Review Taskforce should be created to look at all those issues and come back with an action plan for the post-Paris 2024 period.

The members of the Goalball Review Taskforce are –

Aurora Zanolin, Chair of the Task Force & Chair of IBSA Goalball

Goalball Committee Members –

John Potts, Bulent Kimyon and Alexey Baryayev

Coaches’ representatives:

Algerian Women coach Miloud Djelaili (Africa)

Australian coach Simon Smith (Asia/Oceania)

Brazilian men coach Alessandro Tosin (Americas)

Spanish coach Francisco Montreal (Europe)

Athletes’ representatives:

Alexandre Almeida – Portugal (Europe and the elected goalball athletes


Lida Kauppila – Finland – (Chair IBSA athletes council)

Referees’ representatives:

David Tweneboah Kouduah (Ghana – Africa)

Claude Degeneas (Canada – Americas)

Reza Dheghan – (Iran – Asia).

I am truly excited in the creation of such an experienced group of people. I have every confidence that their work will produce an Action Plan worthy of their great sport. I hope that the goalball community will actively participate and cooperate with our Goalball Review Taskforce and provide them with suggestions and comments. This action is just another part of the reform package I promised IBSA’s Members in Fatima when they elected me. IBSA has a great future as the vehicle to bring sport to blind and visually impaired peoples of the world and in doing so become a means of bringing about social change.

As we start this New Year 2024, a Paralympic Paris Games year I look forward with confidence the direction of travel IBSA has chosen for its sports and its athletes.

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