Interview with a Paralympian | Q&A with GoalBall Player and QSMC client, Meica Horsburgh
Meica is off to her third Paralympic Games! Before she jetted off to Tokyo we caught up with her. She competed in her first international tournament when she was just 15 years old, only one year after she first started playing. Watch our Australian GoalBall team take on Israel tonight at 8pm AEST.
How did you first get involved in GoalBall?
I first got involved when I was in school. There was a girl who went to the same school as me that played in the Australian team. So I must have been 14 when I started playing.
When did you realise you wanted to take it up professionally?
Not too long after I started actually hahaha. It wasn’t very well-known back then. My first international tournament I would have been 15 years old. So I really had only been in the sport for a year before I was representing Australia. We went to Sweden, it was almost like a ladies tournament leading up to the Paralympics. I did score two goals which was awesome for my first international comp.
How many Paralympics have you been to?
3! Well, Tokyo will be my third. So London and Rio before this year.
How do you think your teammates would describe you?
Mmm, hardworking and motivated. They would be the positives hahaha.
How important is looking after your body to your performance?
It’s very important. It would probably be the number one thing. If the body doesn’t work you can’t compete. I always do pre-hab and stuff before gym. I’ve been coming to QSMC for a long time, maybe since 2011.
When you were a young athlete, did anyone inspire you?
Yes, one of the American players; she actually still plays as well.
Who do you think will be the team to beat in Tokyo?
Oh, that’s a hard question. It usually comes out of the blue. In Rio it was Turkey, and they were always good but they demolished teams. In London, I think it was Japan, and no one would have thought they would win. So who knows this year it could be Australia haha.
Has there been a highlight of your career so far?
Oh, probably walking out in my first Paralympics, going to the opening ceremony.
Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Mm, not so much. Probably just listening to music. There’s no particular type, I do love country music, but I will listen to anything. Anything that will pump me up. There used to be a particular song… The Final Countdown. At the moment I’m loving Rupert Holmes. He’s actually got a song that I like; it’s basically about him being on the stage and he’s thanking everyone that is around him that don’t get the same privilege of having fans look at you. I think that’s really fitting for sport, because there are so many people behind the scenes, and we want to recognise them.
Apart from GoalBall, do you play any other sports as a hobby or for fun?
I’ve recently started trying Blind Tennis (SoundBall Tennis). It’s good to do for a bit of fun. I did actually try Javelin, I went out and bought one. I used to do shot put when I was younger so thought I might have been alright at it.
If you could play any sport, what would it be?
Probably Netball. I used to play when I was younger but it got a bit quick for me. I’m very competitive and used to get in trouble for stepping on people’s feet hahaha.
Do you have a favourite place in the world you like to compete?
Oh, anywhere. I’ll be happy to go anywhere! The Rio games were amazing, it was completely sold out. It was great, but also the crowd wasn’t that good at keeping quiet. This year with no crowds allowed, I suppose it won’t affect us too much because the crowd has to be silent during play.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m really looking forward to just competing again, especially with the girls. You know we haven’t been together for so long. Just being able to get out there again and see what we can do, and how the new girls add to our game. We haven’t played a competitive game since 2019.