Thursday, September 29, 2011
GEORGINA BULLEN has two aims in mind as she heads for the Goalball European Championships.
The 17-year-old from Shepreth is hoping to help the Great Britain team retain the title they won in 2009, as well as convincing selectors that she should be part of the squad for the London 2012 Paralympics.
Bullen was the youngest member of the squad who took the title two years ago, and is confident that she and her team-mates can repeat the trick.
She said: “The Europeans are in Denmark this time, and there are a lot of strong teams including the hosts. But we’ve been playing really well and there’s no reason we can’t win it again. On a good day we’re capable of beating any team in Europe.”
Goalball sees players negotiate the pitch using a series of ropes. The aim is to pass the ball up the pitch and score goals using a ball which has a bell inside it.
After the championships, which begin on October 19, the focus will turn to next summer and the London games, where Great Britain will be looking to wrestle the gold medal away from reigning champions America.
Hills Road Sixth Form College student Bullen, who is partially sighted, said: “The squad will be finalised in November, so it’s going to come around quite soon. I think the European Championships will be the last chance we get to impress the selectors, so if we can defend our title then I’m sure that will be a big help.”
Bullen was in Cambridge on Tuesday as part of the launch of the Cambridgeshire Competes Olympic initiative, where she and Great Britain javelin star Goldie Sayers spoke to children about their favourite memories of past Olympics.
“Watching [wheelchair athlete] Tanni Grey-Thompson compete is my favourite Paralympic memory,” she said. “More recently Oscar Pistorius has been such an inspiration. He’s a really nice guy and to see him competing with able-bodied athletes is amazing.”