Goalball Grand Slam returns to BurnabyMarch 5, 2018
Burnaby – The Paralympic sport of Goalball will take over the gymnasium at Fortius Sport & Health in March during the 2018 Vancouver Goalball Grand Slam presented by YVR.
This is the third annual international Grand Slam to be held in the Lower Mainland.
Nine men’s teams from B.C., Alberta, the United States, Puerto Rico and Japan will compete for $8,000 in prize money March 9-11, 2018. This is the only international goalball tournament offering prize money to winning teams.
Goalball is played by athletes who are blind or visually impaired. The athletes compete in teams of three with the aim of scoring their ball into the opponent’s net. Teams alternate throwing the ball from one end of the court to the other, using their bodies to block the net. The ball has bells inside of it, so players can track the sound of the ball to strategize their position and movement. All athletes also wear eyeshades to allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal playing field with blind players.
“This international tournament is a chance for spectators to experience the ability of athletes to navigate around the court without the use of their vision,” said Ahmad Zeividavi, president of the Vancouver Goalball Club. “We encourage spectators to check out this fast-paced and dynamic tournament featuring some of the world’s best goalball players. It’s all about technical skill, strategy, endurance, strength and great communication.”
Zeividavi is a member of the Vancouver Goalball Club team in this tournament. He’s also part of Canada’s national team and competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He was on Team Canada’s bronze-medal winning squad at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
The first International Goalball Grand Slam took place at Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby in 2016.
“Fortius is thrilled to continue our work with the Vancouver Goalball Club, growing our facility and Burnaby as a hub for international and national goalball events and development camps,” said Craig Thompson, Fortius CEO. “It is our mission to support athletes of all ages, levels and abilities in optimizing their performance for life.”
Spectators at goalball games are required to remain quiet while the ball is in play allowing athletes to track the ball with their sense of hearing. Despite the silence, the atmosphere in a goalball gym is intense and exciting. Goalball is the only Paralympic sport not adapted from an Olympic sport.
The first-place team will win $5,000, second receives $2,000 and $1,000 goes to the third place team. The 2018 Goalball Grand Slam presented by YVR starts on Friday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m. and continues until Sunday, March 11, with the finals at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free. However, donations can be made to support the delivery of Vancouver Goalball Club programs.
Visit http://www.vgclub.ca/ for a tournament schedule and more information about the sport.