IBSA Goalball recently conducted the second in a series of workshops for held in Africa for coaches and officials. The most recent workshop was held 24-27 November, 2016, in conjunction with a goalball tournament at the University of Felix Houphout Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The Africa workshops are an IBSA Goalball project partly funded by the International Paralympic Committee. The workshops are designed to introduce Goalball to new countries while providing additional information geared to improve tournament quality in countries already playing the sport. The first Africa Workshop was held in Algiers, Algeria in March, 2016.
The workshop, opened by a representative of the Cote d'Ivoire Ministry of Sport, was represented by 62 participants from seven West African countries - Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Niger and host country Cote d'Ivoire. Attendees participated in theoretical and practical sessions that focused on the sport rules, essentials of team preparation and coaching, officiating techniques and procedures, and the administration of sport-related documentation.
After the workshop sessions concluded, participants got to apply their new skills in a six-team tournament. Coaches and referees received a lot new experience they were able to apply to their teams. Despite high temperatures in the gym, all teams were enthusiastic and fans witnessed some exciting goalball. In the final match, Cote d'Ivoire defeated Mali to take top tournament honours.
In addition to valuable knowledge gained and an exciting tournament experience, each country returned home with some equipment to help them continue to develop local programs.
President of the Disabled Federation of Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Fernand Koffi said, "We are very satisfied with the program and practical advice received during these days. I believe that all participants got a lot of information that can be utilized later in their countries. We feel this was a big step forward towards better playing, coaching and officiating in African goalball."
The next workshop is planned for early 2017.