Visually impaired teens compete in goalball championship

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 21, 2013

MIDVALE, Utah - Visually impaired students from across Utah gathered in Midvale on Thursday to compete in the Utah State Goalball Championship.

Goalball is one of the most popular team sports for the blind and visually impaired. A ball is filled with bells so students can hear it coming, and the indoor court has raised line markings. All participants are required to wear blindfolds.

That ball is rolled from one end of the court to the other and opposing teams try to block the ball with their bodies.

"For them, this is their sport. This is something that's really athletic, teaches them a lot of skills, gives them an opportunity to participate and they love it," said Tony Jepson, executive director for the Utah Foundation for the Blind.

Nearly 50 students participated in this year's championship. The top players will go on to represent Utah in the national competition in December.

Last year, the Utah girls goalball team went on to with the national high school championship.

16-year-old Maryvai Huking was named the MVP, and now she's preparing to play at a higher level.

"I just got back from the USA women's team training camp in Alabama and I was just asked to play with the USA women's team in Sweden," Maryvai said.

Since making the US women's team, Maryvai is now shooting for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.