The squad, who are all members of Goalball UK’s High-Performance Programme, will compete against goalball teams from across the globe for a chance to secure their place at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.
This is the first time the Games have been held in the UK and expectations for a show stopping event are building within the goalball community. It is seen as both an exciting opportunity for athletes and coaches alike, and a real chance to show everyone at home what goalball and blind sport is all about.
For the GB goalball squads, the World Games are also the first major international event held in the UK since the London 2012 Paralympics.
The 12 athletes selected are:
Antonia Bunyan (RNC teacher)
Meme Robertson (ex RNC student)
Megan Smithson-Booth (ex RNC student)
Lois Turner (ex RNC student)
Josh Murphy (ex RNC student)
Caleb Nanevie (ex RNC student)
Joe Roper (ex RNC student)
Dan Roper (ex RNC student)
David Scott (ex RNC student)
Gary Fraser, High Performance Lead at Goalball UK, said:
'Both the GB Men and Women’s squads have been training hard for this pivotal event in our competition calendar. Not only is it a qualification opportunity for the Paris 2024 Paralympics, but it is a home Games, and we look forward to competing in front of our supporters. The players and coaches are keen to showcase our sport and are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to compete against some of the best goalball nations in the World.'
'Our athletes are ready to give it their all in what we hope to be an exciting and successful event” added Gary.
Mark Winder, CEO at Goalball UK, said:
'Having the IBSA World Games hosted here in the UK is a great opportunity. We are excited for our athletes to compete in front of their friends and family, sometimes for the first time at a major event. They have worked incredibly hard to get to this stage on their goalball journeys and we are proud of every person on the performance pathway.'
'The Games are a chance for blind sport to really take the spotlight and we hope to be able to grow goalball in the region as a result.'
'We are very grateful to British Blind Sport, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham University and UK Sport for being the driving force behind the Games. We are excited that sport for people who are blind or partially sighted is being showcased like never before in the UK, and eagerly anticipate the Games meeting our hopes and aspirations.'
Goalball is one of three Paralympic sports taking place at the IBSA World Games along with men’s blind football and blind judo. Goalball is unique as it is the only sport specifically designed for blind and partially sighted people with no Olympic version available.
The Games, hosted by organising federation British Blind Sport on behalf of IBSA have been managed by MLS and stakeholders Birmingham City Council, Birmingham University and UK Sport. Most of the sports take place in venues across the Birmingham area, with all goalball games taking place at Coventry Building Society Arena.
Goalball UK would like to thank the organisers for their work, and our own partners and funders UK Sport, Peter Harrison Foundation, Boost Charitable Trust and of course everyone who donated to have their names on the athlete’s shirts.
Spectators are very welcome at all events. Tickets can be purchased on the official website here.
To get involved with goalball please visit Goalball UK’s website here.