As a young girl, Meica Horsburgh threw herself into a range of sports and knew that she would one day represent Australia on the world stage. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that she found the sport that was going to take her the distance.
Meica was first introduced to goalball as a child through her brother and sister, so it comes to a surprise to many that she only considered participating in the sport in high school. Once she did, her skills soon caught the attention of a former Australian player.
Not long after she joined the Queensland state team and, playing alongside some of the country’s strongest players, Meica fine-tuned her skills and was invited to train with the Australian women’s squad.
In 2004 she made her international debut and set herself the goal of qualifying for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. However, the Australian team did not qualify until the London 2012 Games, where the Aussie Belles, with team captain Meica, lost all four preliminary matches, placing fifth behind Canada, Japan, Sweden and the United States.
Originally their team wasn’t selected to compete at Rio 2016, only receiving the call-up when Russia was banned from the Games due to widespread doping. There they achieved one better than London, tying 2-2 in their match against the Ukraine. Unfortunately, the point differential saw the Australian team again place fifth behind Turkey, China, Canada and the Ukraine.
The longest serving member of the Australian women’s goalball team, Meica prepares for competition by listening to loud music and acting silly – anything to stop her from thinking about the match.
She is inspired by the Australian men’s goalball team and five-time Paralympian, US competitor Asya Miller, and is working towards one day defeating Asya on court.
Outside of goalball, Meica loves to water ski, travel and enjoy new experiences.