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Goalball UK: Transforming More Lives
Goalball UK - the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of goalball - is among the first group of over 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to receive funding from its new funding model.
has a foundational role in the sport and physical activity sector and is therefore well placed to help level up access to sport and physical activity across the country. It will receive an investment of £2,521,975 of government and National Lottery funding from
and has been awarded long-term funding because it has committed to co-deliver change at a national and local level, to help more people enjoy the benefits of playing sport and being active.
Goalball UK will use the funding to transform the lives of people who are blind and partially sighted and their support network. It will grow the unique impact of the sport to help tackle deep rooted inequalities and to unlock the advantages of sport and physical activity for this under-represented group.
It will strengthen its role within the sport and disability sectors as an expert champion of people who are blind or partially sighted by using research to gain insight into people's experiences, barriers to participation and motivations. This knowledge will inform a strong framework for future work and collaborations, ensuring more opportunities for everyone, irrespective of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, location or socio-economic status.
Goalball UK is a thriving charity and governing body, skilled at providing appropriate, safe and inclusive opportunities and pathways for all people and organisations within its community. It is committed to continuous improvement to ensure strong governance, inclusivity, and diversity across the whole organisation from the governing body and leadership team through to the regional clubs and competition network.
Only 9% of GB athletes at the Tokyo Paralympic Games were blind or partially sighted and Goalball UK will develop a system to address this inequality of opportunity in the high-performance system. Its talent pathway focuses on developing individuals and putting their experiences first, creating high performing athletes who will contribute positively through lifelong participation and being ambassadors of the sport.
New and innovative talent identification methods will substantially increase the pool of athletes within the Performance Pathway. The workforce will be increased and diversified and will use an informed and holistic athlete development pathway to provide high quality, tailored and accessible training and competition opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:
'Sport England's Uniting the Movement strategy aims to help everyone play sport and get active - no matter who they are, where they live or what their background. But we know certain groups are more likely to be inactive and need targeted support and investment. We can only innovate and tackle these inequalities effectively with collective action, recognising that this is about long-term change. Goalball UK is one of a huge number of partners we are looking to work with on exactly this over the coming years. They play a foundational role within the sport and physical activity sector ad are therefore well-placed to create the conditions for change.'
Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK, said:
'We are hugely grateful to Sport England for their ongoing, increased commitment to our sport. As guardians of the sport of goalball in the United Kingdom, we are wholly committed in using our sport to transform the lives of people who are visually impaired. We have already put in plans to employ key staff to help us to continue our development. We continue to grow, develop, improve and refine the opportunities we afford all who want to be part of our sport and be part of the goalball family. This grant provides the foundations in doing so.'
, RNC Sports Academy Teacher in Charge, Performance Manager and Lead Coach of GB Women's Goalball Squad, said:
'It's fantastic that Sport England have recognised the work that our partner and NGB, Goalball UK, have been doing to provide opportunities for people with visual impairment in sport. I'm delighted that they now have investment over the next four years to be able to continue to provide opportunities for people with sight loss and transform many more lives.'