The clouds (and the crowds) gathered as ten Year 11 athletes (Alex, Joe, Zachary, Anan, Ollie, Thomas, Thomas, Dylan and Roderick) from Severn House stepped out onto the Astro for what would be a thrilling afternoon of football with a difference. The beautiful game played… blindfolded!
Months of planning and preparation had led up to this moment. The aim was to discover what the challenges are facing the visually impaired when it comes to everyday activities and sport. Also the plan was to to raise money for the Royal National Institute of the Blind. This is a charity that provides invaluable practical support, help lines, and advise for those with sight loss and their families.
The boys were all complete novices and had done no practice whatsoever apart from a very brief health and safety assessment (which was to come in handy later). Mr Dorman blew the whistle and they were off … not all in the right direction. Eventually one player found his way to the ball and began to boot it along the pitch. The jingling of the ball gradually attracted the other players, unfortunately none of them knew which way the goals were, leaving the score at half time 0:0.
The removal of goalies for the second half, and the unofficial decision by most of the boys to become ‘partially sighted’ resulted in a more recognizable game of football. By the final whistle, the score ended on 2:1.
All of the athletes involved agreed that the loss of their sight would have a huge impact on their lives and now hold an even deeper respect for those with sight loss and the people who help and support them.
We would like to thank Carol McKinlay from Cardiff RNIB for the loan of the balls, to Mrs Parr for her support and to Mr Dorman for agreeing to referee at short notice. Special thanks to all the boys outside of Severn house who also took part to raise the numbers.
Alex and Joe have developed a Just Giving page ‘Severn house 5th form Blind football page’ and between all the boys they have so far managed to raise £190, just £10 off their target of £200, so a huge thank you to all of the supporters who have donated over the past few months.
Any further donations would still be gratefully appreciated by this very worthy cause so the link to the just giving page is here:
Well done boys, great idea and excellent fundraising!