STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Soccer) is seeking visually impaired athletes to form a team for goalball, a competitive sport similar to soccer that’s played three-against-three indoors on a gym floor.
“There are two teams, one on each end of a 60- by 40-foot court,” said Wendy Gumbert, STRAPS sports director. “Because of varying levels of sight among players, all are blindfolded to make the game fair. The objective is to roll a three-pound goalball, similar to a heavy basketball, past the opposing team, which is trying to block the ball.”
Goalball is the newest addition to the STRAPS program that was unveiled last fall, Gumbert added. STRAPS offers athletes from all age groups the opportunity to play soccer in one of four programs depending on their ability – ambulatory/Paralympic soccer, wheelchair soccer, power soccer and Special Olympics soccer.
STRAPS is an outgrowth of Soccer for a Cause and the creation of the San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team. Net profits from the Scorpions and their new home, Toyota Field, have been pledged to expand programs and services for those with special needs at Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.
Generous support from The Boeing Co., and Warm Springs, a leader in providing comprehensive rehabilitation services, also makes STRAPS and goalball possible, Gumbert said.
Goalball games will be played at the spacious Morgan’s Wonderland Event Center at Thousand Oaks Drive and Wurzbach Parkway in Northeast San Antonio, just west of IH 35.