• Phil Packer

Paralympian and Great Britain Goalball athlete, Adam Knott, joins the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Adam has joined our BRIT Ambassador family. Adam is a former Goalball Paralympic Athlete who represented Great Britain for over six years in numerous competitions including the Paralympic Games and the European Championships.

“Through my experience as both a student and a teacher, I know there has been an increase in the number of young adults and students who are facing mental health challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on particular groups in society; those on a low income; people with an existing mental health condition; children and young adults and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

With one in four young people being unable to access the mental health support they needed during the 2020 lockdown, it is vital that they receive support to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects on their mental health. This will require a collaborative effort and multi-agency approach, therefore it is great to see that the British Inspiration Trust are uniting the education, sport and charity sectors through an annual UK-wide inclusive feel-good fundraising challenge.

The BRIT 2021 Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for every UK university, college and students’ union to enter teams and encourage their students and staff to take part in the challenge; at home or on campus. BRIT have designed the challenge so that it is inclusive and therefore enables students and staff of all abilities to take part; by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).

I am thrilled to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family and uniting with fellow Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities,to encourage universities and colleges to enter teams and support their students and staff as they complete their BRIT Challenge. BRIT have entered into a special relationship with Goalball UK, so I hope more GB Elite Athletes will join the BRIT Ambassador family and students who play Goalball will encourage their college or university to enter teams in the challenge. I would be delighted to encourage students and staff at the University of Southampton, University of Sussex and Peter Symonds College, should they enter teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”

In 2010, Adam’s father saw a piece on BBC News about involving disabled young adults in sport. Subsequently, Adam attended a Paralympics GB Talent day at Brunel University and was then invited along to a GB Training session where his Goalball journey began. Goalball has been embraced by Adam’s family. Adam’s parents have helped cater for, and accommodate, the GB Squads between 2011 and 2016, Adam’s mother helps run Winchester Goalball Club (as Treasurer and Coach) and Adam’s brother has also played for the GB Team. Goalball has had a positive impact on Adam’s life. From the age of 15, Adam was travelling independently around the country to attend training and tournament. The sport increased Adam’s independence, confidence and friendship circle; it has enabled Adam to play a sport on an even playing field with other blind and partially sighted people. Adam represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, playing alongside his brother, and where he scored a hattrick against Finland who went on to become gold medallists. In 2015, Adam was part of the GB Squad who won gold at the IBSA European Men’s C League Goalball Championships, moved up to the European B League and then, in 2016, won promotion to the European A League. Since retirement from the sport as an Elite Athlete, and outside of his full-time career as a Music Teacher in Brighton, Adam volunteers as Chair and Head Coach at Winchester Goalball Club (the club he founded in 2013 and which is now one of the biggest in the country with players ranging from 8 years old to 30+). To find out more about Winchester Goalball Club, please visit their website.

To learn more about Goalball in the UK, please visit the , please visit the Goalball UK website.