All posts by John Courtney

USA White wins the first annual Nova Scotia Open!

USA White beat USA Red 10 – 7 to capture gold and win the Nova Scotia Open Goalball Tournament. Alberta won the bronze medal defeating Team nova Scotia in the dying seconds of the game to win 4 – 3!

Blind Sports nova Scotia would like to send out a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and sponsors who made our first open tournament possible. We’ll see you all next year when we make this tournament even bigger and better!

Join us for the Nova Scotia Open – November 20-22nd

Join uus for the Nova Scotia Open – November 20-22nd
From Friday, November 20th through Sunday, November 22nd we will be holding the Nova Scotia Open Goalball Tournament at Citadel High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Some of the top Goalball teams from across North America will be attending, including: Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the United States Paralympic and development teams! Nova Scotia will be will represented at the tournament with our Senior men, women and junior teams participating. Come out and watch some world class Goalball at this FREE event!

Here are the details:


Citadel High School

1855 Trollope St, Halifax, NS


Friday, November 20th – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

Saturday, November 21st – 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM.

Sunday, November 22nd – Semi-finals/Medals! – 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Cost: FREE!!

Programme and Schedule
Watch and Listen to the tournament Live online

Inside a light blue banner across the top of page, the poster reads: Nova Scotia Open Goalball Tournament 2015 in darker blue letters and a high-contrast stick figure wearing eye shades throwing a goalball to the right. Below the banner text reads: Made Possible by Within a black border the logos of the following sponsors & supporters are pictured: Accel Physiotherapy & Sport Performance Centre; Accessible Media Inc.; Doctors Nova Scotia; Bryant Realty Atlantic; Bedford Bank of Montreal; Ocean Contractors-Built on Quality; Halifax Harbourside Rotary Club; HALIFAX and Councillors for Districts: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, & 16; Premium Awards & Recognition Ltd.; Dr. Michele Molinari; Insight Optometry Group; Agropur Dairy Cooperative; Jeff's Catering; Aerobics First; Parsons ICF Construction; Pizza Pizza; Atlantica Hotel; Maureen McDonald; Below the sponsor logos is a big Thank You black text. On the very bottom right corner reads Hosted by Blind Sports NS

Come and try Dragon Boat racing!

Dragon Boat for Blind and Partially Sighted Athletes

Are you interested in trying a new sport and challenging yourself? If so, join a dragon boat team specifically for blind and partially sighted individuals for the 2016 Dragon Boating Season. A dragon boat team consists of 20 paddlers sitting two abreast, plus a Cox who steers the dragon boat from the rear and a drummer who sits at the front. Teams can be all men, all women, or mixed crews. Timing, strength and endurance are 3 key elements of a successful team, the fourth and most critical is teamwork.

Dragon boating is a natural sport for people who are blind or visually impaired–it requires hard work, endurance and dedication, but not sight! It is one of the very few sports in which persons who are blind or visually impaired can participate and compete successfully on an equal basis with sighted peers, without any adaptation. Timing of paddling is more important than strength of the individual paddlers, making it a great team sport. The sport provides opportunity for competition, recreation, exercise and socialization. It is an exciting, fulfilling and physically demanding sport–a lot of hard work and a great deal of fun! It is the fastest growing sport in the world today, with a growing number of blind and partially-sighted teams.

The Dartmouth Dragon Boat Association would like to determine if there is enough interest in our community to establish a team for blind and partially-sighted athletes. We are hosting a free trial on Saturday 19th September 2015, from 2PM to 4PM at the Graham’s Grove Park in Dartmouth. This is an excellent opportunity to get in the boat and give it a try.

Numbers are required prior to the event so sufficient boats and volunteers are available. This is open to anyone who is interested, including supporters. Life Jackets and paddles are provided. Wear weather appropriate clothing. It is a water sport so you may get wet. Jeans or any other heavy clothing is not advisable. Change rooms and washrooms are on site.

If you are interested in attending please contact

Nova Scotia athletes make Junior Goalball National teams

Mason Smith and Tarah Sawler are the first two Nova Scotians ever to make the Canadian junior goalball national boys and girls teams.  They will represent Canada at the International Blind Sports Association’s (IBSA) World Youth Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado from July 28th to the 31st.
Tarah, 16 years old from Dartmouth, led the Nova Scotia junior girls to the bronze medal at the junior nationals in Brantford, ON in March.  She is in her second year of goalball and also plays for the Nova Scotia Senior Women’s’ team.  Mason, 15 years old from Middleton, achieved the rare feat of winning both junior and senior Mens’ national titles this season and has been named to the junior boys national team in just his first year of goalball.
Linda MacRae Triff from Dartmouth was selected by the Canadian Blind Sports Association (CBSA) to coach the junior boys national team at this year’s tournament.  MacRae-Triff, who also coaches the Nova Scotia Senior Men’s and Women’s teams has also coached the Junior girls team from the beginning of the programs short two year existence.
Nova Scotia men’s goalball athlete and junior assistant coach, Peter Parsons from Halifax will be the assistant coach for the Canadian junior boys and girls teams.  Parsons says: “It is a testament to the strength of Nova Scotia’s new Junior Goalball program that both Tarah and Mason have been selected by CBSA to be a part of Canada’s World Junior teams.”  Parsons, who is an Orientation & mobility Specialist with the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority works with  visually impaired youth in the province and is familiar with the unique challenges that they face:    “Organized sports can be a challenge for visually impaired youth.  Junior Goalball is a great way to promote acceptance and active lifestyles from an early age.”  Parsons adds that the success of our boys and girls Junior program bodes well for the  future of Goalball in Nova Scotia: “We’re just getting started and I’m really excited to see where both our Junior and Senior programs go in the next few years!”
Goalball is a Paralympic sport that was created after WWII for blinded veterans. It is a team sport played by athletes who are blind or visually impaired.  Played on a volleyball sized court on a gym floor with goals at either end spanning the entire back line, two teams of three players compete by throwing a ball along the floor and into the opposite team’s goal.  The opposing team attempts to physically block the ball from crossing the goal line. Because players can have different levels of vision, all participants are blindfolded to create a level playing field as they listen for the goalball, which has bells in it.

I’m seeing double… Double Gold!

Simon Richard/Mason Smith with their Junior and Senior Goalball Natoals Gold medalsSimon Richard (left) and Mason Smith (right) display their double gold medals that they won at both the junior boys and senior men’s national goalball championships this year.  They won national titles with the New Brunswick junior boys in March and the Nova Scotia Senior men in April which make them two of a small handful of players ever to achieve this rare feat of winning junior and senior national titles in the same season.  In his first year of goalball, Mason made the junior boys national team and is training for the IBSA World Youth Games in Colorado Springs from July 28th to the 31st.  Simon, MVP of the junior and seniror nationals, will be playing for the men’s national team at the Para Pan Am games in Toronto from August 8th to the 15th.  Good luck boys!