The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball has announced that Cape Coast, Ghana, will stage the 2021 African Championships from 6-10 December 2021.
Since the first edition of the competition in 2016, it has been staged once in Algeria and twice in Egypt. This year will therefore be the first time that the Championships head to Ghana, and will also see the debut of the countries’ men’s and women’s teams.
Kari Raisanen, Chair of the IBSA Goalball Committee, said: “We believe the African Championships will be a fantastic end to this historic year, offering the chance to attract new interest to the sport in the region following the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“Africa is a continent in which we have seen growth over the past decade, and we want to not only keep supporting teams to improve but also encourage new nations to start. As goalball celebrates its 75th birthday in 2021, we will be doing just that.
“We are confident that the Local Organising Committee, the Ghana Blind Sports Association, will organise a great competition that reflects the importance of the time it is being held.”
Eric Kissi, President of the Ghana Blind Sports Association, said: “Ghana is committed to giving our utmost best in hosting a befitting Championship that will make Ghana and all of Africa proud. All visiting countries are assured of a peaceful and successful Championships.”
Around seven men’s and five women’s teams are expected to compete at the University of Cape Coast Sports Complex.
At the last African Championships in Port Said, Egypt, in 2020, the Algerian men’s and women’s teams both took gold to secure their place at the Paralympics.
Cape Coast 2021 will be a qualifier for the 2022 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Hangzhou China, from 6-18 July. The top three teams in each gender will secure their tickets.
In 2021 IBSA Goalball is celebrating 75 years since it was invented by Austrian Hans Lorenzen and German Sepp Reindle in 1946. It is widely known as the original team sport for athletes with visual impairments.
To mark the occasion, activities will include the first World Goalball Day. The sport will also deliver a series of online sessions to spread awareness and knowledge of the game.