Goalball: Reflections from Alicia

For Alicia, 31, a composer and music educator, learning processes and the concept of learning as a whole are intriguing. Alicia was the BRAVE reporter who interviewed Sophia Barkham and Crystal Khoo of the Young Women Touch team at last Sunday’s interaction.

Even though Touch and Goalball are sports and seemingly unrelated to music, Alicia is of the opinion that the transference of skills, knowledge and concept from one area to another (sports to the arts and vice versa) is often possible. In addition to that, the values – discipline, tenacity and sportsmanship – that one develops through learning a sport and the arts are almost similar.

“An intriguing thought emerges: The Touch team could learn the basics that Sunday morning by relying on their sight to watch the coaches demonstrate. The goalball team members however are not able to. So, what exactly are the methods and/or processes that are employed by the coaches to train their members? Do they learn through verbal and tactile cues? How do they retain the skills that they have picked up? Is it largely muscle memory then?

Both Sophia and Crystal agreed that Goalball seemed deceptively simple. Both girls definitely realised how much they relied on their sight for the many things they did in their usual training, especially to navigate and orientate themselves.


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Crystal summed it up best, ‘When I came into the sports hall today, I thought it was going to be quite easy. It’s just defending the ball and all. There’s no running. It’s easy. But when I tried it myself, I felt really… afraid. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was afraid the ball would hit my face.’

Sophia felt like her team was ‘scrambling a lot’. One of the rules of goalball states that the player has ten seconds to attempt to score a goal after the whistle for the game to commence has blown. So considering that the ladies were new to playing without vision, ten seconds was indeed a very short time to get into position and perform a throw.”

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