Joe gears up for mighty Paralympic challenge
ONE of the athletes at the Paralympic Games in London will be flying the flag for the Lutterworth area.
Joe Dodson (27), from Broughton Astley, is part of the six man Goalball squad taking part in the games.
Unfortunately the GB side lost 11-1 in the opening fixture against a tough Lithuanian side who are one of the favourites for gold.
Joe has been playing Goalball since he was 12 years old, when a teacher suggested to him he might be interested in the sport.
Just three years later he was representing the UK.
Joe said he was honoured to be representing the UK and he hoped the Paralympics would help raise the profile of Goalball.
He added: “I’ve been involved with the GB set up for a long time and this is best atmosphere we’ve ever had. The squad has bonded well and that will be a crucial element for us as we perform at the Games.
“We’ve all put in a lot of hard work and the set-up and coaching has been first-class. We are now ready for the action.
“The sport is growing and we are hopeful there will be a good legacy from the Games that will encourage more people into the sport.”
Joe and his teammates have been busily preparing for the Paralympics at a preparation camp in Bath before moving to the Olympic Village in London at the weekend.
The team is coached by German Knut Kursawe but Joe has also received one-on-one training from Lutterworth-based personal trainer Marc Browne at Lutterworth Sports Centre.
Speaking ahead of the opening fixture, Joe said he was expecting a tough match.
Lithuania was pipped to the post by the Chinese team at the 2008 games in Beijing and returned home with silver.
Joe said he hopes the home crowd might give the team an edge in the Games.
He added: “I saw how the crowd lifted the GB athletes at the Olympics.”
Although the crowd in the sport normally has to remain silent, they can cheer when goals are scored.
Joe added: “As long as it’s going our way I think we can carry that through and really push forward on the wave of noise.”
Joe normally trains with a team in Blaby, but has also represented the UK in international competitions, travelling to a number of countries including Sweden and Lithuania to take part.
Outside of Goalball, Joe has a number of interests – including being one of the faces behind community station Radio Lutterworth, which he has been involved with for several years.
He presented his own show during the station’s two early runs and has been involved in trying to raise funds to bring the station on-air on a full time basis ever since.
Joe has his own Twitter feed which is @Joe_Dodson.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Market Harborough
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west