This story truly demonstrates how just by ‘having a go’, something magical can happen…

Submitted by Louise Gough about her 16 year old daughter Samantha, this story tells us about how, by working with various organisations, Samantha’s natural talent was able to shine.

Earlier this year, Samantha attended a VI sport taster day in Dundee. There was a variety of sports to try – Judo, Bowls, swimming and Goalball.  Samantha was already a keen swimmer, but she soon caught the eye of head coach for Scottish Disability Sport.  As a result of this she now trains three times a week as part of a Para Squad.

At the end of the session, we met Kathryn Fielding from Goalball UK.  Kathryn was impressed with Samantha and felt she had potential. This wasn’t the first time Samantha had tried Goalball. She had a taster session in primary school, but didn’t enjoy it.

The following month, Samantha attended an activity week at Royal National College for the Blind with British Blind Sport. There was a Goalball session available for Samantha to try. After having another go, she started to fall in love with the sport.

Luckily, Samantha was then able to secure a place on the Goalball UK summer camp. It was a weekend event, so she was able to practise the sport for just over two days. Again, she showed great capability. Following her passion, Samantha attended a Goalball Leader Course in Perth and then soon after a weekend in York at the Goalball Conference. These events provided her with opportunities to practise and learn more about the sport. By this time, she had well and truly fallen in love with Goalball and was learning so much about it very quickly!

Unfortunately there isn’t a local club in Scotland for Samantha to join. Kathryn Fielding from Goalball asked if Samantha would be interested in training with the West Yorkshire squad in York once a month. Following her first training session in October, she was entered into the North East Regional Tournament in Sheffield that following weekend. This was purely with a view to gaining some more court experience, as she was yet to play a full game!

The Tournament

Kathryn quickly brought together other young people displaced without a club, and formed a composite team on tournament day! Arriving at the tournament in Sheffield, Samantha was briefly introduced to three young women who were going to be the rest of her team. They quickly put their heads together, with a little guidance, and the newly formed team played their first match!

Match after match the team continued to win! Throughout the day I was beginning to hear whispers that they were already in medal position! All this success despite the fact that the team were newly formed a few hours earlier. Much to everyone’s amazement they went on to win all their games, except one!  They completely dominated the competition and they sat firmly at the top of the leader board and in Gold Medal position.

That day they went on to win gold and Samantha was overall top goal scorer with 19 goals.

Taster session to Gold Medal in seven months!

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