Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sports Club for visually impaired children

A SPORTS club aimed specifically at blind children has been kick-started in the town.
The Swindon Actionnaires has been set up by national charity Action For Blind People with support from Swindon Council.

Visually impaired youngsters will be able to enjoy a different activity every week from football to trampolining and swimming, climbing and ice-skating.

The children marked the event with a kickboxing session at the Link Centre, where the meetings are held, and worked up a sweat while having fun.

Rebecca Frost, sports development officer for the charity, said: "It has been really good. Everyone seems to have really enjoyed themselves," she said.

"This is the fifth week the sessions have been running and they seem to be getting more popular by the week."

The idea of the group is to allow blind and visually impaired children the chance to try different sports in a fun, safe and encouraging environment.

"We hope visually impaired kids from Swindon and the surrounding area will take this opportunity to join the club, whether they are budding Paralympians or they have never tried sport before," said Rebecca.

A club like the Swindon Actionnaires is something that Lesley Kay, teacher for the visually impaired, has wanted for many years.

"When I first heard the charity wanted to set the group up I didn't think it would happen," she said.
"Coming to a club like this gives visually impaired students the chance to be good at a sport, something they might not be able to achieve in a mainstream environment alongside fully-sighted children.

"We've found that when we have run taster sessions on different sports children have found they are good at it and it encourages them to take it up in a mainstream club."

The group is open to children aged eight to 16, and they are welcome to bring fully-sighted siblings and friends.

Children under eight are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

Due to the popularity of the sessions the organisers are hoping to set up another group.

They are looking for volunteers who are able to help out on a Saturday afternoon for two hours and they also need another co-ordinator who can work five hours a week.

Anyone interested in either of these roles, or wants to attend the group, can contact Rebecca on 07894 390288 or email her at


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