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A fascinating insight into the Paralympic sport that’s enthralled Australia

Deborah Knight
Article image for A fascinating insight into the Paralympic sport that’s enthralled Australia

A goalball coach has given an insight into the action-packed sport as the Australian women’s team faces a quarter finals match against Turkey at the Paralympics. 

Australia’s Belles, which hadn’t won a single Paralympics match since Atlanta in 1996, stunned international spectators by winning two games and earning a place in the finals.

Deborah Knight admitted while she was enthralled by the sport, she didn’t have a good understanding of the gameplay.

The sport sees vision impaired athletes use their entire bodies to attempt to block balls, bowled by the opposing team, from entering goals.

Bells inside the ball help the athletes to track its movement.

Blind Sports Australia Chair and former coach Sam Theodore said the goalball first developed as a rehab activity for soldiers recovering from World War II.

“They pick up the slightest little noise, the slightest little signal from their teammate to then … use it to their advantage,” Mr Theodore said.

“These people are elite athletes – there’s no question about it.”

Press PLAY below to hear more on the sport


Image: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Deborah Knight
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