2004 First International Test (2)

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Press Release

16 June 2004

Fine Performance in First Goalball Tests.

On Sunday 13 June the New Zealand Men's and Women's Goalball teams met Australia in the first Trans-Tasman clash for Goalball. Though both tests were lost, 5-3 in the men's game and 4-2 in the women's these were a credible and closely fought outcome against opposition that have been involved in international competitions for over 20 years.

Goalball is a Paralympic Sport for the blind and visually impaired played on a volleyball size court where two teams of 3 roll a ball from one end to the other in an attempt to score goals in the 9 metre wide court at the other end. The ball is the size of a basketball, contains bells and is thrown at speeds up to 70 km/h. All players are blind folded and court markings on the floor aid in orientation. Goalball is the only true hand ear coordination game in the world and is played in over 70 countries world wide.

"We can be truly proud of the outcome of these tests" said Troy Ramsay, coach of the men's team. "We were expecting a hiding from a very strong and motivated team, but in both games our strong defense frustrated the opposition allowing us to slip a few goals past them and give them a real run for their money."

Petronella Spicer, captain of the women's team had an outstanding defensive game. "I was pleased with all the girls, we were really in it up until the last few minutes. We know that with some hard work over the next 12 months we have a real shot at beating them next year when we hope to meet again."

The test matches were played during the Australian State Championships held over the weekend of 10-13 June in Surfers Paradise. "We were really pleased with our performance in the competition and the tests" Paul Barclay, captain of the men's team said. "We have really taken a step up both with our NZ teams and the development squad that also attended. We have plenty more to work on, but know now that we can be competitive on the world stage. Though Australia will not be attending the Paralympics this year, not having qualified, they are still ranked in the top 15 in the world, so we can be duly proud of the result."
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