A new sports club is launching in Blackburn and it’s not like any other in the town. Goalball is a fast-paced team sport played by people with a visual impairment.

Mohammed Salim Patel is the founder of Blackburn Goalball Club and he thinks that being blind shouldn't rule you out of being in sporting competitions.

Patel, who plays Goalball himself, explains how he expects the club to be a long term success, but it'll need time to establish itself.

"I’m delighted that through the help of Goalball UK, blind people in Blackburn and the surrounding area are finally able to access a fully inclusive sport," said Patel.

"There are a lot of blind and partially sighted people living here but we have hardly any sporting opportunities.

"That will now change though thanks to this club being established. This club will now mean people can become more active, get socialising and share tips with each other."

The games rules are simple - two teams of three players have the objective to score a goal by bowling the ball along the floor into their opponents’ goal.

Players have to rely entirely on their other senses - the ball contains internal bells so players are able to track its movement by its sound, whilst the court is marked out with tactile lines so players can feel where they are.

Patel is hoping to get more people down to the sessions, the first of which started on Saturday, February 9. The sessions take place every other Saturday from 10:30am to 12pm at Blackburn Youth Zone.

"We had eight people turn up which was good - the more we can get the better," highlighted Patel.

"The aim of this is to provide a competitive sport for blind or visually impaired people within the local area.

"Before this there was nothing of the sort for the blind or visually impaired to do sporting wise.

"There are a lot people around here who have this disability so them being able to compete in a sport is fantastic.

"Just because you're blind, it shouldn't mean you can't be involved in any sort of sporting competition."

Patel highlighted how the club gives people the chance to meet others in the same situation as them.

"It's an opportunity to meet others in the same position that they are in," said Patel.

"They can talk to each other and offer tips on how they cope with being visually impaired or blind.

"Making friends at the club or meeting others at competitions is a great way to socialise."

Following the London 2012 Paralympics participation has increased by 425% and already in 2019 goalball in the UK continues to grow.

Alongside Blackburn, three other new goalball clubs are set to launch in Essex, Exeter and North Wales.