Visually impaired students from Brooke Weston took part in a goalball tournament with Olympic sprinter Darren Campbell and Niall Graham who was part of the GB Paralympian goalball team.
The sport involves teams of three blindfolded players, who have to score goals using a specially adapted ball that contains bells, so players can locate it. The blindfolds allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players.
Seven students from Brooke Weston attended the event, which was held at Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough and now sports teacher Mrs Bryan is planning to set up an after-school club that will be open to all students.
She said: ‘There were students from five different schools there, all special schools apart from us and Prince William. The students are thos who probably would not be able to experience anything like this in mainstream sports and they absolutely loved it and talked about it all the way home. Darren Campbell is a former Olympic gold medal winning sprinter so everyone got to hold his gold medal. Niall competed in goalball in last year's Paralympics.
'We had a very inspirational introduction from Darren, then Niall did a warm up and a practice demonstrating how to throw the ball and save it. We had two teams there and they both played three matches and a friendly when Niall was playing on their team and Darren was playing on the other team. The students really enjoyed that.
‘This cannot just be a one-off dur to the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the students. As far as I am concerned we are going to do a club every other week, open to everybody because it could be really enjoyable and something completely different. I am going to try and get a match or tournament once a month or every six weeks.
‘It was quite incredible and, because Rajmund cannot see at all, he can tune in to where the ball was and find it quite comfortably. The others found it quite disorientating to start off with and there were balls flying around everywhere. It was just brilliant, it had me in tears by the end of it but you can’t cheer because it has to be silent so the competitors can hear where the ball is.’