After going through the 2015 season undefeated, the Kedron Lions could be excused for enjoying a summer away from sport, but that wasn’t the case.
Some of the Redleg boys recently headed down to a Queensland Goalball training session to lend a hand.
Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by blind athletes. The objective is to roll the ball into the opponent’s goal, while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies.
The connection between the two organisations came through Greg Scott, the Kedron President, and the Queensland and Australian Men’s Coach.
“I played junior footy at Kedron, played a little bit of senior footy at Kedron, and then lost my hypersensitive eyesight when I was 21, so I stopped playing footy and moved into vision impaired sport.” he said.
“Goalball was the most aggressive sport I could come across. Since that time I’ve been involved in the club side and also the Paralympic side, so I have brought my two sporting pursuits together.”
Scott put the call out to the Kedron, asking for them to come down and help out at training as the Queensland Goalball squad prepared for the nationals.
The response he got was instant.
“With our level of footy at community level, you put it out there to the squad, you’re not sure who will read it, but we had eight boys turn up. They really supported my call for help,” he said.
While it took the Kedron players a while to pick up the skills required, they certainly walked away with not only an appreciation for the game, but also the people involved.
“The thing that helped build that appreciation was the variety of age. They had the senior men, senior women, and then we had some of our juniors there as well. The juniors gravitated to the footballers pretty quickly, and the footballers were more than happy to get involved straight away,” Scott said.
Even though the training session eventually finished, the connection between the two didn’t.
The Lions supported the Queensland team right through the recent nationals, where the women’s team went through undefeated, and the men’s team won bronze.
Scott believes that this will continue, both ways, in the coming years.
“The boys really got behind the teams at the recent nationals. They connected with them through Facebook messages and the like. As a support mechanism, I think we could really develop this where both teams can support each other throughout the year,” he said.
Anyone wanting any more information about Goalball, or wondering how to get involved can click HERE
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles