How do blind people play Football? Yes, we are talking about Soccer, the round ball game. In episode 35 we talk with Tony Larkin from England about Blind Football.
Football for the blind and partially sighted started out as a playground game for school children in special schools for the visually impaired. This five per side game (four field players plus a Goal Keeper) has now become one of the most popular sports for people with a visual impairment worldwide.
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has two types of football – B1 for footballers who are completely blind and B2/B3 for players who are partially sighted.
B1 football has become one of the biggest sports on the Paralympic Games programme following its debut at the Athens 2004 games.
During a footballing career spanning fifteen years Tony Larkin made over 450 professional appearances for several English teams.
It was while he was playing for Shrewsbury that he first became involved with the Royal National College for the Blind after doing some voluntary work there. Impressed with the enthusiasm of the students he returned to RNC to coach sports after finishing his playing career at Hereford United.
Tony was instrumental in helping to establish the United Kingdom’s first football academy for visually impaired players. He has lead the Great Britain blind football team to several Paralympic Games, European and World Championships and now runs training programs for other coaches from around the United Kingdom and throughout Europe.
Tony became Patron of British Blind Sport in March 2013.
For more information about blind football check out http://www.ibsasport.org/sports/football/
I also include some motivational quotations.
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