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A fascinating glimpse into the Paralympic sport that inspires Australia

A goalball coach gave an insight into the action-packed sport when the Australian women’s team takes on Turkey in the quarter-finals of the Paralympics.

The Australian Belles, who have not won a Paralympic game since Atlanta in 1996, stunned the international crowd by winning two games and securing a spot in the final.

Deborah Knight admitted that although she was intrigued by the sport, she did not have a good understanding of the gameplay.

In this sport, visually impaired athletes use their entire body to prevent balls thrown by the opposing team from entering the goal.

Bells inside the ball help athletes track its movement.

Blind Sports Australia chairman and former coach Sam Theodore said Goalball initially developed as a rehab activity for soldiers recovering from World War II.

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

“These people are top athletes – no question about it.”

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Image: Alex Pantling / Getty Images

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