In August, our founder Griffin Pinkow attended a Goal Ball Training Session at Camp Can Do based in New Jersey and run by Monique Coleman. At this session, a group of visually impaired and blind youth ranging from the ages of 8-16 years old, were gathered to learn about the goal ball sport and coached on skills to play the game successfully. We also received support for this event from the New York Knights, in which some of their players came to help teach the game to the visually impaired and blind children and teenagers.
For those that are not familiar with the goal ball sport, it is similar to dodgeball except the goal is not to try scoring points by hitting a player from the opposing team with the ball, but instead to get the ball past the players from the opposing team and into that team’s goal net. One team is on offense while the other team is on defense, with players from the offense team trying to roll the ball past those laying down on the defense team while those on defense have to try blocking the ball from going past them. If a person on the defense team catches the ball, they can try to roll the ball past those on the offense team to go into the offense team’s goal net. As the game goes on the teams eventually switch roles. Techniques that the visually impaired and blind youth were educated on in this training session included how to properly roll the ball and how to play both offense and defense.
To make learning and playing the game fair for everyone that was involved, everyone in this training session was blindfolded.
The ball – which was the size of a soccer ball or softball – had bells in it so that those who were playing could discern where the ball was being thrown or rolled.
Below is a picture of one of the youths trying to roll the ball.
Here is another picture with our founder Griffin Pinkow standing with two of the session’s coaches.
We are glad that the youth that participated in this training session really enjoyed themselves. Monique Coleman, who as previously stated runs the camp, expressed that she loved this session. The camp wanted to incorporate sports, and this was the first time anything like this took place at the camp.
We are honored to come alongside this camp and support this group of youth in learning this sport they otherwise may not have ever gotten the chance to learn.
These are photos of the group playing the game, and the whole camp huddled for a group photo.