When it comes to exercise, there really is something for everyone, and that includes people with disabilities. Being fit and healthy is a massively important part of life for everyone. Because of this, many sports have been created to allow those with disabilities the chance to exercise and take part in sports. One of those sports is Goalball, a sport that visually impaired people play for fun and competitively worldwide.


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What Is Goalball?

Players defending a goal, whilst the ball hits the net

Goalball is a sport that was created in 1946 as a way to help rehabilitate soldiers who had injuries affecting their eyesight. It became a part of the Paralympics in 1976, when they were held in Toronto, USA and teams from across the world came together to compete in the sport. To take part in the sport competitively, the athlete must be blind or partially sighted; however, sighted people can play the sport for fun. The game takes place on a pitch much like the one you would see in football. All players must wear blindfolds to allow every player the same advantage.

Each team guards their goal from the ground whilst bowling the ball towards the other team. Playing from the ground allows players to feel the tactile lines on the court. This helps them to feel where they are on the court. The ball also contains a bell for the players to hear, allowing the athletes to track the ball's movements by sound. Where most sports require athletes to rely on their sight, they must use their other senses, to defend and score.

The Benefits

Goalball has a massive number of benefits for those with little or no sight. By playing goalball, people with visual impairments can improve their other senses such as hearing, touch and spatial awareness. All of these are things that are needed in daily life which loss of eyesight can affect. Communication skills can also be improved through playing Goalball. All athletes will rely on their teammates to speak as they cannot see each other. By playing regularly, people can improve these skills in a way that is fun but also helps them get and keep fit.

However, the most important benefit for anyone who has a visual impairment is that it allows you to meet others in the same situation. This can massively help with mental health as living life without sight can be very isolating. Being able to take part in a sport with others in the same position can help build independence and confidence, allowing people to learn to live with their disability instead of it being something that holds them back.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.