The Commonwealth Games in Delhi may be stealing most of the sporting spotlight but there are athletes starring in our own back yard.
The 2010 Australian Goalball National Championships has begun in Brisbane, one of the only team sports for the vision-impaired.
Joanna Carson reports.
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Men’s and women’s teams from all over Australia will be competing for the next three days.
Goalball was actually invented after World War Two, to help injured soldiers in rehabilitation.
Sally Watts, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association: “So you’ve got two ends with three people down each end with players guarding the goal. Players throw the ball with a bell in it.”
During the game, spectators must be completely silent, so they players are able to hear the bell in the ball.
First teams on the court were Victoria and Western Australia. It’s the West’s first time in the comp.
Queensland players especially looking forward to competing on a home ground.
James Teh, Queensland player: “To throw a ball at the other side, it’s just such a good feeling to get a goal in particularly.”
While Goalball may be a little known sport here, our national women’s team is making their mark internationally placing 8th at the World Titles earlier this year.
Meica Christensen, Australian women’s player: “We’ve played previously and we hadn’t made it into the semi-finals and we made it and it was great to show all our hard work paid off.”
Because each player is masked using tape and goggles, sighted competitors are also welcome.
But for any player wanting to try goalball you’ll need nerves of steal.
James Teh, Queensland player: “I remember walking into work one day and my boss asking `did you get beaten up on the weekend’ because I basically had a black eye because I didn’t defend the ball properly.”
Sally Watts, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association: “I’m too scared, that ball is really hard.”
Joanna Carson, QUT News.