Showcasing the ability in disability through goalball

Tony Telfer is a former Australian international in goalball. He runs the Disability Sports Network, a non-profit organisation which is doing the commentary to the live streamed matches of the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships.

"I have been around the game of goalball for well over 40 years, competing for Australia in 1986 for the World Championships in Europe plus representing Australia in the 1988 Paralympic Games in South Korea for example.

I was also appointed the coach of New Zealand in 2011 and was recently inducted in to the Goalball Hall of Fame for my services to the game. I have taken the hits, scored the goals and thrown a few high balls in my time. However, off the caught I have enjoyed a successful stint behind the microphone calling the game that I absolutely love!

The Disability Sports Network is something that I had always wanted to establish. From the days of calling blind cricket down in Melbourne for Radio 3rPH to calling my first blind cricket Ashes series between Australia and England back in 2008 I have always wanted to showcase the ability in disability and that is what the Disability Sports Network aims to achieve. Either through weekly programs focusing on both disability sports and non-disability sports to live events such as the just completed World Youth Goalball Championships that were held in Hungary. The network provides around 10 to 15 hours per week of live programming for those who have a disability or who are interested to find out more about inclusive sports around the world.

I and another former goalballer Troy King are the current directors for this non-profit organisation that aims to promote disability based sports both in Australia and around the world. We would also like to extend our thanks to former director Graham Colton whom stepped down as a director to focus on international and domestic blind golf. Graham along with the current team assisted in establishing the network back in 2015 with its launch at Blind Cricket New South Wales Trivia Night. Since then the network has gone from strength to strength broadcasting at least four shows per week and live broadcasts of events all promoted through social media so listeners are kept informed about them.

It is always a highlight to sit behind the microphone and call a high standard goalball whether off a video feed or actually in the same hall that the game is taking place. For example the Super European Goalball League tournament held in Finland in which I made the trek across the world to cover in person with Finnish team Old Power covering the costs of the trip. It is always a great experience to freeze my behind off but to be warmed by the very high standard of goalball which the SEGL represents.

As mentioned, the Disability Sports Network is a not for profit organisation with the directors funding the costs to both keep broadcasting and to travel to events. If you would love to keep hearing these events being broadcasted, please donate to the organisation. Every dollar helps and with a larger available pool of funding, the team can cover a larger number of events both in Australia and around the world.

Finally, I would like to personally thank both the PA people whom sponsor the DSN and Sean Camble aka the tech guy who ensures that the website and the technical side of the network is kept up to date.

If people want to know more about the Disability Sports Network, please visit the website at www.dsn.net.au or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/dsn.net.au"

There will be total of 22 blog texts published in the Pajulahti 2017 blog, one text every week until the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships on 18–22 of September. Each week there will be a different writer. New blog text will be published every Wednesday.