#WorldGoalballDay: Webinar series launched
Date: September 12, 2021
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball is celebrating the very first World Goalball Day by launching a series of webinars for athletes, coaches, referees and countries.
The online seminars, the dates for which will be announced soon, are aimed at people who are interested in starting the sport for themselves, getting involved by becoming an official or coach or starting a goalball programme in their own country.
At the recent Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games every throw, block and goal was broadcast live to the world for the first time, creating new interest in a sport which has no Olympic equivalent.
Australia, having made it to the knock-out stages in the women’s competition, returned home under the banner of their country’s ‘new favourite team’.
In China, Hu Mingyao went viral on social media for his resemblance to anime character Satoro Goju whilst his team reached their first final since claiming gold at Beijing 2008.
Broadcast coverage in the USA and Canada, on NBC and CBC, was unprecedented as the networks showed games in primetime as both the US men’s and women’s teams went for bronze and gold respectively.
And hosts Japan – fielding teams in both genders – stunned their home audiences with performances that included a bronze medal for the women. Japanese broadcaster NHK also led their schedules with some games.
The new interest generated from the stunning displays of speed, skill and tactics as players launched the ball – and themselves – across the court at Makuhari Messe has the potential to spark the next generation of athletes, referees, coaches and officials as well inspiring people to start the game in their country.
The webinars, which will take place in the final three months of 2021 to mark 75 years since goalball was invented, will provide the different groups with an insight into goalball and how they can get involved. They will be led by experts from around the world.
The first World Goalball Day took place on 12 September and aimed to bring together those who were new to the sport and people already involved.