The Brazilian women’s and men’s Goalball team, a parasports modality aimed at the visually impaired, made a double and won, Tuesday (22), the American Championship, held in the city of São Paulo (SP). Among the members of the troupe was London resident Marcio Rafael, coach of the London goalball team. The Brazilian was the champion over the Canadian team by 5 to 0. The man won the US by 12 to 2.
Marcio Rafael said that he was invited by the coach of the Brazilian women’s team modality, in September last year, to participate in the post-Paralympic team cycle, as a physical coach. “In the selection, we worked with the idea of a triad, where the physical preparation, the tactical part and the technical part were of equal value, where the athlete had to be complete to be able to play a better role on the court. court,” he explained.
This is the fourth edition of the Americas Goalball Championship, the third being held in São Paulo. With that, the Brazilian team earned a place for the world championship, to be played in China, in June. “There are 12 teams from 12 countries competing in this competition, and Brazil has never won. He had participated three times before and was runner-up in all three. But this year, with our hard work, we managed to exceed expectations and achieve a great result, becoming champions”, details the team’s physical coach.
He also commented on the support the institute has received, recently, from sponsor Feipe, also talking about the tradition of the city team, which has been around for 15 years, while the coach has experience in the modalities. “The incentive that Feipe gave us, this finance department, which helped a lot in travel, training, materials, was very important for our work, to develop it within Goalball. Londrina is now a seven-time open game champion (Parajaps), has titles in the southern region, which is sort of ‘Southern Brazil’ in modality and has participated in national championships. I believe this year will be very intense, because we have stronger athletes in the team and, with that in mind, our idea is to seek a higher jump in modality”, he said.
Goalball is played by teams of three players, on a court with a space similar to a volleyball court (9 meters wide by 18 meters). Behind each side, there are two goals, covering the entire length of the pitch, measuring nine meters wide by one meter and thirty centimeters high.
The athletes of each team are limited to an area of six meters in front of the goal they are defending, to avoid contact with the opponent. The athlete throws the ball to the other side, aiming to make it over the back of the opponent’s court, so that it goes into the goal. In its trajectory, the ball must of course touch a predetermined line, in order to reach the opponent’s goal on the ground.
The Goalball ball was developed specifically for the sport. Weighing 1.25 kilograms, it has a toy that swings in its displacement, allowing athletes to find it by hearing. The match is played in two halves of 12 minutes each.
The London team receives support from the Londrina Sports Foundation (FEL) through the Special Incentives Fund for Sport Projects (Feipe).
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