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Former Olympian Peter Elliott joins Goalball UK board

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The tenacity and drive of everyone involved in the sport is something to behold and I’m excited to support a sport that does so much to transform the lives of participants
– Peter Elliott, Goalball UK

Peter Elliott, the former Olympic middle-distance runner, has joined the board of Goalball UK to help develop talent and elite performance in the sport.

The governing body is focused on sustaining its growth at both a grassroots and elite level since proving a hit at the London Paralympics.

Goalball is the only Paralympic sport specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired, using a ball with a bell inside and string to mark the pitch and goal lines.

“I’ve become increasingly aware of Goalball UK over the past few years – the growth of the sport in this country has been astounding,” Elliott said.

“It’s been remarkable to see the success of the elite teams and the rapid progression of players on the talent pathway.

“The tenacity and drive of everyone involved in the sport is something to behold and I’m excited to support a sport that does so much to transform the lives of participants.”

Elliott was part of athletics' great Coe, Ovett and Cram era – winning medals at a Commonwealth, World, European and Olympic level.

He holds the British record for 1500m and the indoor mile, and was a silver medallist at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Since retiring, he has worked at the English Institute for Sport since 2004 and is the current director of operations.

Mark Winder, CEO of Goalball UK, said: “It’s fantastic to have such a distinguished former athlete on the board.

“Peter’s been our neighbour in Sheffield in his role at the English Institute of Sport for some years and has had a chance to see first-hand how goalball transforms lives.

“He’ll offer his invaluable experience in talent development and elite performance as well as with vital safeguarding strategies.”

Goalball UK also recently appointed Steve Ferres, a former rugby league player with Bradford Bulls, as business development manager, to identify new partnerships and opportunities for income generation.

Since the London games in 2012, participation in goalball has grown by 425 per cent in the UK, according to the body, with the number of clubs doubling.

The indoor sport is open to male and female visually impaired athletes but sighted players can also play by using eyeshades.

At elite level, the women’s GB team have secured their position in the IBSA Europe A League, putting them on track for Tokyo 2020.

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Peter Elliott, the former Olympic middle-distance runner, has joined the board of Goalball UK to help develop talent and elite performance in the sport.
Peter Elliott (18) and Sebastian Coe (9) neck and neck during the final of the 1500 metres in the AAA Championships at Crystal Palace, when Elliott pipped Coe to claim a place in the Los Angeles Olympics / PA Archive

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