2003 Canberra


Goalball New Zealand

Press Release


13 June 2003


Goalball New Zealand Returns After First Foray Into International Competition.

On the weekend of 7 - 9 June, 6 New Zealand Goalballers attended the Australian National Goalball championships at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by blind, visually impaired and sighted players in the only truly hand-ear based game, where players attempt to score goals at either end of a court the size of a volleyball court. The unique nature of the game is that all players play blindfolded, using sound and touch to orientate themselves on court, stop the ball from entering the court width goal, and then returning to the opposition at speeds up to 70 Km/h.

"This was our first overseas trip, in a game that is new to our country" said Paul Barclay, captain of the team and the President of Goalball New Zealand. "We have been playing for only 5 years, whereas Australia has had over 20 years of experience and a best result of 4th at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996. We have a long way to go to catch up with them, and many of the other top countries in the world, and this was our first step along that path".

The game itself is played in over 100 countries world-wide and is very popular in Europe and the Americas.

During the weekend, games were played against New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and ACT. New Zealand was unable to come away with a win, but was still able to hold the state teams to within 2 or 3 goals in most instances. "The speed of the games were faster than we are used to playing, especially the offense return speeds around 70Kmh" Paul said. Our defence in general was pretty sound, but we lacked the pace to effectively penetrate their defence".

Much was learned by the team and coaching staff with many new ideas and techniques learned. "Overall, I believe that the Australians were pretty surprised how far we have progressed in the few years that we have been playing", Troy Ramsay, the team coach said. "The Australians were very supportive and would like to speed up our development so that they can have stronger competition in this part of the world".

Goalball is played in the major centres throughout New Zealand with North, South and National championships scheduled for the coming 12 months. "We will go away and analyse what we have learned over the next month or two, and make plans for either another trip to Australia, or an invitation to them to play here in the next 12 to 18 months", said Paul Barclay.


Further information

Further information about this release or Goalball itself can be found by contacting the Goalball New Zealand Publicity Officer - Darryl Sherwood on 03-353-3895 w/h, 03-366-0013 a/h, email darryl@sherwood.co.nz, or by visiting one of the following web sites.






New Zealand Goalball Team Photo

New Zealand Gloalball Team from Top Left, Paul Barclay (capt), Darryl Sherwood, Jason Griffiths, Dennis Wells, (Bottom) Petronella Spicer and Logan McMullen. Missing Jeff Clendon (player / manager) and Troy Ramsay (coach)