I’m Josh McEntee and I’m 25 years old.
I haven’t been playing goalball for very long – I picked it up after I lost all my sight just over two years ago.
A teacher of the visually impaired (VI) mentioned the sport to me quite early on after my sight loss. I’ve always been really active – sports were (or ‘sport was’) a big part of my life and I wanted to make sure it continued to be now I’m blind.
I went along to my local club – Lancashire Lions – for a session and the rest is history.
I fell in love with the sport. It’s intense, challenging and a lot of fun. It’s also seriously pushed me, both physically and mentally – in a good way!
At the start of this year, I was selected to represent the GB Men’s Squad and got to compete with the team for this first time in Budapest earlier this month. It was an incredibly nerve-wracking experience but I’m so proud of what we achieved.
Representing my country at an international tournament is one of the highlights of my goalball journey so far and I’m really looking forward to more training with the guys. I was selected alongside Joe Roper, so we’re both bedding into the team and getting used to the styles of the other players – it’s really upping my game.
The rest of the time, I train and compete at an elite level for Phoenix Blaze. As a team we’ve come on leaps and bounds – this season is looking really good for us. The improvement is really showing on the pitch and I believe it’s only a matter of time before we’re winning tournaments.
As I’m playing at an elite level, I get the chance to support other players in the club. I also train people (both VI and sighted) in Jiu Jitsu and fitness. The skills and techniques I’m learning both with Phoenix Blaze and the GB team is helping strike out on my own and channel my energies into helping people.
It’s safe to say that it’s not just me that’s got involved with goalball. My mum and dad lend a hand at club sessions regularly as well as driving me to tournaments across the country. My brother-in-law helps me with training and the rest of the family are always pitching up to cheer me on at tournaments.
Thanks to them, and the goalball community, I’ve had some amazing experiences – with many more to come I hope! Everyone had been so supportive and I can’t thank them enough.