“Packagoals facilitate easy transport and we save time when assembling them for a match … this allows us to reach more people,” says Mr Prinz.
The full-sized Goalball Packagoals are also being used at talent scouting days and public sports events, to motivate young people to take part in goalball and find young talent.
“Our goalball objectives are mainly to do with talent scouting and promotion, especially in the junior area, to continuously secure the next generation for competitive sports,” he says.
“In this context, we want to expand the goalball offer within our project … the Packagoals make it easier to achieve our goals.”
The Packagoals themselves have also been well-received by young players in the programme, according to Mr Prinz.
“The reaction of the young players and untrained people who tested goalball was very good.”
He says the inflatable goals are safer for players and their portability has also allowed organisers to hold matches in outdoor locations, including on the beach, where the public can see the sport being played and gain an appreciation of the skill involved and what it has to offer.
The growing popularity of goalball in Germany has led to success on the world stage. At the European Championship in Rostock in 2019, the national men’s team won gold and the women’s national team claimed bronze. There were 2,000 spectators at the final game of the tournament and more than 3.5 million people tuned in to watch the match on TV.
Germany has an established national league with six club teams as well as a second-tier national league, featuring five teams from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
“In Rostock we also inspire a large number of normal sighted people to practice this sport,” Mr Prinz says. “So the popularity of goalball in Rostock and nearby is very high.”
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts says the new Packaworld distribution centre and online store in Europe makes it easier than ever before for sporting bodies to grow participation in accessible sports such as goalball.
“It’s awesome to see sports organisers in countries such as Germany embracing accessible sports and using our Packagoals to help achieve their goals of growing participation in sports like goalball.
“We’re committed to helping organisers increase participation in the sports they love and our portable goals make it easy to bring the game out into the open – whether it’s on a beach or at a school – where everyone can see and experience what the joy of sport is all about.”
Goalball: a sport for the blind (and sighted!)
Goalball was developed with blind and visually impaired athletes in mind. It is a Paralympic sport in which teams of three players roll a ball with bells inside it across an indoor court and into a nine-metre-wide goal at the other end. Players on the opposing team dive to try to block the ball from entering the goal at their end of the court. Anyone can play – both blind and sighted players wear eye shades, relying on sound to identify where the ball is.
>> Want more information about our portable goalball goals? Visit our Goalball Packagoal product page.