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Shining A Light On Blind Soccer In Ontario

By OSA News, 09/06/16, 4:00PM EDT


The first question people always ask when it comes to blind soccer is 'How do people know where the ball is?' followed quickly by 'How do they know what they're doing?'

You can see the thought process happening right in front of your eyes as people try to understand how the loss of sight impacts a persons ability to play the game of soccer.

In 2016 the Ontario Soccer Association Club Development department has already delivered blind soccer sessions to an estimated 300 people. From school kids to physical therapists, college students to coaches, people are starting to take notice.

Whether they are sighted, visually impaired or legally blind, the impact of experiencing soccer without sight is visceral.

As a legacy of the TO 2015 Para Pan Am Games the OSA has been able to assist in the launch of three small community based blind soccer programs with a fourth coming on line in October.

The first two showing early success are in Sudbury, led by Jim Cress through the Sudbury District Soccer Club and by John Fearnalls and the Kitchener Soccer Club. The video above showcases Fearnalls speaking about their program. 

An initial program in Whitby is beginning to build momentum while Ottawa's will launch very soon. These programs will continue to run in the fall and winter as Ontario prepares to offer blind soccer for the first time ever at the Ontario Para Sport Games being held in Brantford from February 10-12.