London 2012: Great Britain claims a spot in every paralympic sport

Great Britain will be represented in every paralympic sport at London 2012 after its goalball and women's sitting volleyball teams made the grade.

The British Paralympic Association delayed its decision to award host nation slots so both men's and women's teams could reach the standard.

"I am proud of the process we have gone through with these sports," said BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.


  • Goalball is a game played by two teams of three players with a maximum of three substitutions on each team
  • It was designed for blind athletes but all players are blindfolded
  • It is played on an indoor court measuring 18 metres long by nine metres wide
  • To score a goal you bowl the ball along the floor so that it crosses the opposing team's goal line
  • The defending team has to prevent the ball going in by stopping it whilst remaining in their team area, then try and score
  • The court has tactile markings of string taped to the floor to help players' positioning
  • The ball contains internal bells to help players

"I strongly believe we have the right outcome."

Both sports needed to meet the BPA's criteria for "credible performance" which is being demanded of the 300-strong British Paralympics athletes going to the Games.

At a recent tournament in Venice, both ParalympicsGB goalball teams finished in the final four and the women were in contention for the gold medal.

Hollingsworth added: "In setting such clear parameters for what constitutes credible performance, in particular what progression we expected to see since November last year, we have remained true both to our standards for the team and our ambition to have athletes compete in every sport in London."

The next stage for both sports will be the nomination of athletes to fill these slots, which will take place in May and June.

BPA performance director Penny Briscoe said: "Neither of these sports was in the British team in Athens or Beijing so this has been a tough journey and they both know that there is still a long way to go, with a lot of hard work to be put in before the Games."

GB sitting volleyball teams fight for 2012 spots