Goalball star Ben inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Published on 10 Jun 2021


Ben is pictured standing straight with his arms folded, pictured next to the APM Communities logo

Ben is recognised as a star on and off the Goalball court.

Goalball superstar and APM Local Area Coordinator Ben Rowe has been inducted into the City of Cockburn Sports Hall of Fame.

The City’s Hall of Fame celebrates Cockburn’s storied local athletes, past and present, along with the junior clubs that helped to develop their talents.

One of three athletes to be inducted, he was inducted with Cricketer Brett Dorey and Mixed Martial Arts champion Soa Palelei at a recent Local Council ceremony.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the induction of these three very different athletes into the City’s Hall of Fame continued to highlight the depth and diversity of elite sports people in the district.

An on-court champion

Ben has lived with a vision impairment for most of his life, achieving considerable personal and professional success through his Goalball career.

“After I started playing all the doors opened. I hadn’t thought about playing sport for Australia. The possibilities were great” Ben said.

When asked how he felt when he found out he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he said:

“For me it was quite a surprise. There are few people with disability that have been recognised for their achievements in sport.”

Ben’s nine-year career (2010-2019) is decorated with a series of noteworthy national achievements, including:

  • Gold medallist – 2015 and 2018
  • Silver medallist – 2013, 2017, 2019
  • Leading goal scorer – 2010, 2013
  • Most Valuable Player – 2013
  • 6 time All-Australian

Ben has represented Australia at a number of international competitions including Regional Paralympic Qualifiers, International Invitational Championships, IBSA World Games and Asia Pacific Regional Qualifiers.

Achievements off court

Ben’s outstanding commitment and achievements in sport reaches beyond the Goalball court.

“I had no ambitions when I started but now, I am chair-person of Blind Sports Australia, I never thought that would happen. I’ve become a voice, an advocate” he said.

“Goalball turned me from being a couch potato into someone with purpose.”

After retiring from Goalball in 2019, Ben’s work and advocacy is continuing as he develops the blind sports program for NDIS participants as part of his role at APM Communities.

His lived experience of the degeneration of his sight and finding camaraderie through sport strongly motivates his work:

“When I lost my sight, I thought I couldn’t play sport anymore I was really down in the dumps. Discovering Goalball was a real life saver”.

In 2020 APM Communities held a series of successful “Come and Try” sessions across WA for a range of sports including cricket, seated volleyball and tennis.

These sessions are aimed at giving people with disability the opportunity to participate in modified games, connect them with local clubs and promote improved accessibility and inclusion in sport.

More ‘come and try’ sessions are planned for the near future - follow APM on Facebook for the latest information.

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.

Our Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help people with disability, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need.