History-making England Blind Women team hoping to inspire more people to play football
Sam Gough of the England Blind Women team has spoken of her pride in taking part in the inaugural IBSA Women's World Championship
Sam Gough is hoping England Blind Women’s appearance at the first-ever IBSA World Championships will inspire even more people to take up the sport.
Gough is part of an England Blind Women’s team which was only launched in May 2022.
Fast forward 15 months and the Para Lions were competing against the best blind women’s footballers on the planet at the inaugural IBSA World Championships, which were part of the multi-sport IBSA World Games in Birmingham.
Gough said: “It is such an honour to be a part of the first-ever IBSA Women’s World Championship. Hopefully we can inspire the next generation for years to come and I am so proud to put the badge on and make history.”
She continued: “It is such an honour to wear the Three Lions and hopefully we can inspire people to take part in blind football and para football.
“We want to inspire people to take up football regardless of whether they have a disability or not.”
Around 1,250 blind and partially sighted athletes from 70 countries have been competing across ten sports this month as part of the IBSA World Games in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
England Blind Women had a tough start to World Championship football as in their first match they had to take on the number one ranked side Japan, who would end up as runners-up to Argentina.
A 1-0 loss to Germany in their ranking match meant England ultimately finished eighth but Gough was full of praise for the efforts of her team-mates and the coaching staff.
She said: “I am so proud of every one of the girls. We really worked together as a team and we have learned a lot which we can take forward into future games.
“I am so proud of the girls because we have worked so hard to be here.”
She added: “The spirit in the squad has been phenomenal. There are such good vibes in the camp, the staff have been amazing and it has been great to be a part of such an amazing squad.”
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