NEW YORK—The Lighthouse Guild, an organization that provides services to those who are visually impaired as well as inspiration to help them reach their goals, recently hosted 25 students from the Lighthouse Guild Youth Transition Program for a goalball clinic, the group announced. Devised for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the game of goalball was played amongst a group of participants aged 14 to 21 years at the Trinity School in New York City, and was run in coordination with The New York Association of Blind Athletes (NYABA) and the Stephen T. Pearlman Volunteer Center.

The game of goalball originated in 1946, and over the years has become the premier team sport for blind athletes, the group said.  

“Lighthouse Guild’s youth programs are here to empower young people who are visually impaired with the skills and tools needed to achieve their goals," said Jaydan Mitchell, coordinator of youth programs at Lighthouse Guild. "And what a fitting way to close out a school year filled with learning and growth. Goalball is a game that levels the playing field, prioritizes accessibility and challenges players to be both individual assets and a powerful team.

"And you can have fun while doing all of that. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting way to celebrate our students’ successes this year. We’re so grateful to our friends at the NYABA and the Stephen T. Pearlman Volunteer Center for bringing this experience to us,” Mitchell said.

The Lighthouse Guild Youth Transition Program meets every Saturday and offers guidance, counseling, vocational and recreational services to students from across New York City, the group stated. Students learn important skills for long-term success, while also making friends, having fun, being creative and staying active. The program is supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

“The foundation is proud to help make Lighthouse Guild’s essential youth programs possible, and fun events like this clinic help everyone achieve and advance their goals,” said Len and Emily Blavatnik.

“Growing up I always strived to find something to keep myself active, but due to my visual impairment I didn’t really excel as much as I wanted to,” said Manuel Puma, a player with the NYABA. “However, with goalball, I finally found the sport that I could improve on and develop my skills. To be able to give back to the teens in the Lighthouse Guild Youth Skills Program, who may be having the same thoughts as I did back then, is a blessing. I thank the Trinity School for allowing us to be here and the Lighthouse Guild for collaborating with us to create awareness of the sport of goalball.”

The Lighthouse Guild Youth Skills Program gathered at Trinity School in New York City to participate in a Goalball Clinic by the New York Association of Blind Athletes.