“The Spin on Goalball” by INL Employee Jeremy Stanton
I bet you are wondering what Spokane Spin and goalball have in common. The answer is that ‘Spokane Spin’ is the team name for my goalball team. I really enjoy playing the sport. I heard about goalball in high school but there was no team at the time while I attended Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, WA. Fast forward many years, when I heard about the formation of the Spokane Spin; I decided to check it out! Goalball, in my opinion, is a very simple sport to learn to play but a complicated one at the same time. I am still learning a lot especially tracking the bouncing rolling ball before committing to lay out to my left or right to block the shot from the opposing team. In August, three fellow teammates and I traveled to Los Angeles to play in our first tournament. This was a great experience for me as it motivates me to work hard in practice to improve my skills so I can gain more playing time and help bring a national championship to Spokane in June of 2012.
The Spokane Spin means a lot to me because as a kid growing up, I didn’t participate in many sports. In the Spokane area there weren’t any organized sports for the blind back then. Sure as a kid, I was active in a few things. In elementary school, I participated in gymnastics and I went to the track meet down in Vancouver. In high school, I was on the school’s wrestling team for 2 years. With the Spin, I get to participate on a team on an equal playing field. Another reason I enjoy my time with the team is it gives me a way to unwind after a tough day/week at work and socialize with others. My third reason goalball is important is what our head coach Kevin Daniel told me after we had an exhibition game in July. He related that he could tell my dad and my grandma were proud of me after they came up to me and talked to me and they talked with him.
My goal in goalball as I stated above is to help bring a national championship to Spokane. This is important to me since it will help bring awareness to the public that the blind can accomplish anything even though they may have lost or have limited sight. Another goal besides getting some exercise is to help find blind youth in the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho area and get them interested in the sport. I may be young, but I know the way to grow the sport is to get the youngsters involved and continue the interest in the sport. I thank you for reading this blog and your support of the team. Go Spin!!!!!!