It's not over yet says goalball star after securing New Year's honour
- Credit: Supplied/Emma Evans
A goalball enthusiast from the Fens who has been named on the New Year’s Honours List believes there is still more work to be done to develop the sport.
Emma Evans MBE from March will be recognised for her services to goalball and to athletes with visual impairments since getting more involved with the sport in 2015.
Since helping to launch the Fen Tigers goalball team five years ago, Emma has played, coached and refereed, as well as taking part in fundraising initiatives and promoting goalball within the civil service.
“I’m really humbled because it is something you think you’ll never achieve in your lifetime, especially in the sport of goalball,” she said.
“There are so many people that volunteer and do amazing things to enable the sport to happen.
“Without them, there’s no way I would have got this honour so for me, it’s an honour for the goalball community.”
Emma, inspired to get involved with goalball after her son started playing while at the Royal National College for the Blind, has made her mark off the court, too.
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Over the last two years, she has secured £80,000 in funding for Goalball UK, the sport’s governing body.
She has also promoted the sport as a civil servant through the Civil Service Visual Network, which aims to address and increase awareness of visual impairment issues across the civil service.
On the court, Emma, who led the Fen Tigers to international success in Malmo last year, has guided them to become the first British team to feature in the European Super League for 2021, but she does not want to stop there.
“There are so many blind and visually impaired people that are maybe not aware of the sport, don’t feel confident to come forward and may want to have a go,” she said.
“We really struggle to get anyone locally to sponsor us, always having to try and raise money to keep the club going.
“Yes, it’s great what we’ve done, but there’s so much more we can still do. We can get more people coming to the club, make more people aware. We’ve reached out, but there’s always more we can do.”