St John Fisher Catholic High School added a new trophy to its cabinet last month in the form of the Harrogate Goalball team, with a tournament victory over York and Richmondshire in the North Yorkshire Sport Summer Games competition. Goalball is designed as a sport for athletes with visual impairments and is one of the Paralympics’ most exciting sports.
The game comprises of two teams of three using a ball with a bell inside. To keep things fair, blindfolds are worn by all players. The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opposing team’s net, while defenders listen for the bell sound and attempt to block the ball with their bodies.
The Harrogate team was comprised of Manager Elliott Marks and a five-man squad, four of which were from St John Fisher. The squad consisted of Year 9’s Joshua Clawson, Jordan Prideaux and Alex James, Year 8’s Niall Brotheridge and also Simba, a Year 9 pupil from St Aidans.
The game carries an unusual atmosphere. Instead of applause and encouragement from parents, the game requires complete silence in order for players to listen out for the ball sound. This resulted in a uniquely tense atmosphere as parents struggle to silence their gasps during near misses and close saves.
Harrogate worked tremendously well as a team, with every player scoring at least once. Harrogate won all their games, scoring 27 goals whilst conceding only 4.
Proud Team Manager Elliott Marks said:
The team represented their schools brilliantly, remaining professional throughout. They were consistently gracious winners and true role models to the rest of the school.