Goalball UK Youth Forum members - Jacob Hare and Terrelle Iziren


Written by Jacob Hare and Terrelle Iziren
Goalball UK Youth Forum members Jacob and Terrelle are two Croysutt Warrior teammates who began playing goalball within the last year. In this post we will be discussing our experiences as young people playing goalball in south-east England.

playing with young future athletes

How did you find the goalball?

Terrelle:  A couple months after graduating from university, my optician handed me a leaflet, advertising a local goalball team, Croysutt Warriors. I always liked the idea of having a sport to play regularly outside of work to keep active.

Jacob: I started playing goalball when I was very young, for a different club that was very small and never really went anywhere. The club wasn’t really geared up for younger players so I unfortunately had to leave. Then many years later I made friends with a couple of people who played goalball, two of which lived near me. I began talking to them and they invited me to come and train with them. I’ve always loved playing sports and love trying new sports so I was very excited to try goalball again after so many years (especially as I was now much older and stronger, so I could play properly without the fear of getting hurt). 

Jacob Hare

Why is it a good hobby?

Terrelle: Goalball is a fun sport to play and a great way to meet new people within the goalball community. The sport tests your body physically and mentally which I enjoy because it gives you challenges to overcome including playing against new people. Goalball is a good hobby because it’s very accessible to many people who are partially-sighted or blind, while allowing them an opportunity to play competitively while representing their teams at regional and national level.
Jacob: Since I was able to run and throw a ball I’ve been looking for a sport that I can participate in on a level playing field to everyone else. I’ve tried many different sports and many different visually impaired sports but never really thrived as the visually impaired community is quite small. As a result, I have always found that I am up against many different abilities and sight levels which makes it hard as I may be playing against people with better sight. This puts me at a disadvantage whereas playing against people with worse sight puts me at an unfair advantage, so to be able to find goalball, where everyone is on an even keel was really nice.
As previously mentioned I have only been playing for a short amount of time and I already feel I have made so many great friends which I will keep for life and had so many great opportunities. I feel very well included and love the team spirit not only at my club but within the Goalball UK community, it’s so friendly but also very competitive which I really like.
I really love how much goalball makes you think and work within a match. You are never standing still for too long. Goalball is such a good way to make good friends and keep fit, I also feel that I have already progressed much further and much faster than I have ever been able to in any other visually impaired sport.  I truly believe this is as a result of everyone being equal in the opportunities that they are given and the support that we are given.     

Where can you play it? How often?

Terrelle: If you head to Goalball UK’s website, there are a list of teams from across the UK. Depending on whichever part of the country you live in, you can search for regions (i.e. South & East) to find a team near you. Goalball UK usually has four regional tournaments a year, and one national tournament during the summer. At Croysutt Warriors, we have weekly training sessions which alternate between open sessions (week 1) and closed sessions (week 2).
Terrelle Iziren

Jacob: An open session is for new players and less experienced players to come and try the sport and have a go, they are open to everyone and are a great way to make friends and try the sport.
A closed session is more of a skills based session and is for slightly more experienced players. We focus on specific skills and the shots are usually harder, this is a time to develop our skills and train together in our set teams (novice, intermediate and elite.)   

Are there many children/young players?
Terrelle: Yes, at Croysutt Warriors there are many young players and several children too. The age range varies from club to club but Croysutt welcomes players of all ages.
Do you have future goals/wishes within goalball?

Terrelle: In the near future, I hope to help Croysutt Warriors to a top three finish at either intermediate or novice level. My ultimate goal would be to win a regional or national tournament for our team.

Jacob: This season will be my first season playing in matches and tournaments and I would really like to be in either a top three novice or intermediate but ideally win the tournament.
In the future I hope to be able to progress to elite level and maybe even progress into the national team and play at a world event such as the paralympics.
I believe I had a great start into the sport by being accepted into the goalball UK #find the next program which I hope will help me to progress my skills and further my goalball journey.

playing with young future athletes

What has a goalball given to you/your family?
Terrelle: Community, and a chance to meet new people who also enjoy playing goalball. This has only grown stronger during the pandemic, as we have had group fitness sessions on Zoom.  It’s been great to see my team-mates and I improve our goalball skills and fitness as a group over the past year.

Jacob: Goalball has given me a sense of community not only at Croysutt but also in the goalball UK family, it has also given me massive self-confidence and the sense that I am actually good at a sport. I feel that my team is backing me and this gives me a great sense of pride as I was recommended to apply for the next program by my team coach.
It has also enabled me to make new friends and rekindle existing ones that I may have lost touch with through the pandemic if it wasn’t for goalball training.  

What do you like the most in goalball? What motivates you to play?
Terrelle: Shot practice because it is arguably the most important part of goalball whether your team is attacking or defending.
Playing against goalball sides from across the UK is also a great experience, keeping competition healthy across many teams. Last year, I competed in my first goalball tournament,  for South & East intermediates in Peterborough, representing Croysutt Warriors which was good fun. 
Keeping myself fit and healthy while also giving my best for the Croysutt team motivates me because it pushes me to improve my performances.

Jacob: My favourite part of goalball is the competition elements of the sport. I love how fierce and fast matches are and how they keep you on your toes.
I believe that I am motivated to play by the pride to help my team to victory and the thrill of the game. I am always motivated to train as after a long hard day at sixth form  goalball training is a time to switch off from the outside world and just focus on the game and my teammates. It is a time to switch off and have fun and not let the pressures and stresses of everyday life get to you, I am also motivated to not let my team members down and will always try my hardest to do my best and not let my concentration drop during a match.  

playing with young future athletes

For whom would you recommend goalball as a hobby?
Terrelle: I would recommend goalball to anybody who wants to try a new sport. Regardless of whether or not somebody has limited vision, goalball is very accessible and is a great way for you to meet new people.

Jacob: I would recommend anyone who wants to feel part of a sporting family and wants to try something new and have fun whilst still being pushed and working hard.
As Terrelle mentioned, goalball is open to everyone and vision or lack of it is not a reason to not get involved as everyone is completely shaded and cannot see anyway.

More about the writers – check the player profiles!

Terrelle: LINK

Jacob: LINK