Sport4Everyone funds allowed Blind Sport Australia (BSA) to train and educate coaches for their vision impaired teams and host workshops and national camps in all corners of the country to firstly provide an accesible sport to people from the blind community and secondly to encourage more blind and visually impaired people to get active and get involved in a team sport.
“Every team and every athlete needs a coach, but for blind football a special kind of coach, trained to work with those with visual impairments are harder to come by.”
Stats show that people with disabilities experience substantial disadvantage and much poorer health outcomes, than the general population of Australia. Blind Sport Australia want to get people who are blind or vision impaired to be involved in sport and reap the benefits of social inclusion and encourage healthy lifestyles but the lack of educated professionals is the biggest barrier to participation.
Without action and support more and more people with blindness or vision impairment will suffer due to social isolation and higher risk of obesity and type two diabetes.
Since being granted funds from the Australian Sports Foundation and Australia Post, BSA have educated five community coaches, which not only gives more opportunity for people to participate in the sport but also provides full time employment.
Two workshops have taken place in different locations around Australia, these workshops are open to everyone with visual impairments to learn new skills and develop friendships in an inclusive and welcoming environment. These workshops have positively impacted over 50 participants through engagement, inclusion and health.
BSA used some of their Sport4Everyone funds to run a national camp, which fast tracked the development of players, coaches, referees and volunteers from across the country. This platform allowed everyone to share knowledge in a professional, fun and supportive environment and then take the new skills and information they learnt back to their home states and pass on to the local community which will have a positive impact on hundreds of people with vision impairment as well as their families who may have been looking for an opportunity such as these training sessions.
Future sessions in 2019 will touch the lives of even more people living in parts of Australia that do not often have access to this kind of specialised training and sport.