By Tom Degun

K Kursawe_March25March 25 - Knut Kursawe (pictured), the head coach of Britain's men's and women's goalball teams, has admitted that a dream has come true for his players after the British Paralympic Association (BPA) confirmed last week that it would endorse the host country slots for the sport at the London 2012 Paralympics.

British goalball appeared in severe danger of missing out on the Paralympics back in November 2011 when the BPA deferred the decision for 2012, for both squads, as further evidence of "credible performance" was needed.

This announcement forced the teams to takes their programme to a new level with additional guidance and direction in nutrition, psychology and physiology.

Players in the GB squads came from all over the country to train regularly in Winchester in a bid to secure Paralympic placement.

Impressive recent team performances in Venice, where the women's team clinched silver and the men finished fourth, saw the players ultimately book their spot at the Games.

"I can't explain how important this is to me, as I took over this position as head coach and started from scratch to make this dream of every athlete come true," said Kursawe.

"Now as goalball will be part of Paralympics GB the real journey starts and we have to work even harder than before to prove that we deserve to compete against the best goalball countries in the world.

"To get this home nation slot was the first step and I am so proud of all of my athletes for what they have already achieved and how strong the team spirit is.

"I want to make them now stronger and more confident so that they will play their best goalball ever."

Georgina Bullen_March25
The announcement last week means that ParalympicsGB will for the first time in recent history have representation in every sport at the Paralympic Games at London 2012.

The goalball competition at the Games will take place from August 30 to September 7 at the Copper Box on the Olympic Park, with 12 men's teams and 10 women's teams set to compete.

The sport for the visually impaired was originally developed by Hanz Lorenzen of Austria and Sepp Reindl of Germany in 1946 as a rehabilitation programme for visually impaired World War II veterans.

Decades on, goalball evolved into a competitive sport and has been officially included in the Paralympic Games since 1980.

On a volleyball size court, a ball is hurled tactically at the opposition who guard a nine metre goal.

Blindfolded they try to defend it and then shoot it back at up to speeds of 60mph.

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