British Blind Sport hosts National Festival , image: DisabledGo
British Blind Sport has held an open day where people could learn about and “have a go” at an array of sports aimed at blind and partially sighted people. The event which took place on Saturday 22nd July was attended by over sixty people of all ages in Manchester. The RNIB and British Blind Sport said it was the best attended event of its kind over the whole country. The idea of the day was to have a taster of sports that have been adapted for people with impaired sight. The sports included, football, judo, cycling, running, cricket, wall climbing, goalball and boccia.
While most sports were adaptions of sports we all know and recognise, boccia pronounced (Bocha!) was one that had been adapted for visually impaired players having been designed for people with ceberal palsy.
Boccia is a precision ball sport similar to bocce and related to bowls and petanque. The name boccia is derived from the latin word for ‘boss’ – bottia
The sport is perhaps the earlier game ever played by mankind, with roots in ancient Greece and Egypt. One of the first games of Boccia was played by Sir Francis Drake and Lord Howard in Plymouth, England in 1588.
The sport eventually became widespread and was initially adapted for people with cerebral palsy. it is now played be people who had any kind of neurological impairment that affects their motor function, it made it paralympic debut in 1984, when the games were help in New York.
Now the sport is practiced in more than 50 countries worldwide. These countries are all registered as members of the Boccia International Sports Federation which is the official governing body of the sport.
The event was enjoyed by young and old.