See Sport Differently tackles reasons why sport isn’t accessible for blind and partially sighted people
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and British Blind Sport (BBS) launch See Sport Differently participation campaign to tackle the disparity of physical activity amongst blind and partially sighted people.
In a series of emotive videos, the See Sport Differently campaign shares the real stories of blind and partially sighted people who have overcome the many hurdles that often prevent them from getting involved in sport and physical activity.
RNIB and British Blind Sport have created an accessible online hub to provide information and guidance on accessible sports and activities and how blind and partially sighted people can get involved. This portal includes an interactive quiz where people can find out what sports and activities best suit them.
The campaign also sets out the barriers faced by people with sight loss and celebrates their journey to get involved and stay active by taking part in swimming, martial arts and adapted team sports such as Goalball.
Derrick Errol Evans MBE, widely known as Mr Motivator, who is supporting the campaign with a series of free audibly accessible home workout videos said:
“Exercise is for everyone, regardless of age, weight, ability, or sight loss. Whether it is simple chair exercises or a cardio workout, there is something out there for everyone. And it doesn’t have to be challenging or hard work, it can be fun, exciting and energising! The important thing is to get started and do something.”
Tony Barclay, who was registered blind at 36 years old and found it a struggle to find ways of staying fit, said:
Vivienne Francis, RNIB’s Chief Social Change Officer, said:
“See Sport Differently is working to get more blind and partially sighted people actively participating in physical activity and improve understanding of sight loss across the sports sector.
Unfortunately, our research shows that one in three blind and partially sighted people said there were sports or fitness activities they would like to try but haven’t been able to.
The accessible online hub that RNIB and British Blind Sport have created will pinpoint the local activities that already exist for people with sight loss to get involved in. Creating positive wellbeing through fair and equal participation in physical activity and the opportunity to experience sport in an inclusive way is one of the key priorities of this campaign.”
Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive of British Blind Sport, said:
"We are delighted to be working with RNIB on See Sport Differently. Our joint research found that more than half of blind and partially sighted people feel that having sight loss stops them from exercising as much as they would like. The findings emphasise the importance of raising awareness across the sector and ensuring that people who have lost their sight have access to accessible opportunities that enable them to live healthier and happier lives. Our new hub contains a variety of resources, activities and information that can help to remove some of the barriers to participation, provide positive experiences and encourage blind and partially sighted people of all ages and abilities to participate in sport."
The campaign, funded by Sport England and National Lottery, seeks to address findings that over half of the blind and partially sighted population are inactive (do less than 30-minutes of physically activity a week).
This participation campaign forms part of the See Sport Differently programme. A three-year initiative run by RNIB in partnership with British Blind Sport that aims to tackle the biggest barriers for blind and partially sighted people within sport and activity and motivate more people with sight loss to get moving by highlighting the benefits of physical activity. The campaign also aims to demonstrate that sight loss doesn’t need to be a barrier, and anyone can start their journey to getting active.
RNIB and British Blind Sport have received £1m in funding from Sport England to deliver the See Sport Differently initiative. Thanks to the players of the National Lottery, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.
To find out more information about See Sport Differently and watch the full stories visit www.seesportdifferently.org.uk
Notes to editors
Supporting campaign content includes:
- Campaign video – https://youtu.be/0RCKOhflAkM
- Campaign imagery – link to online content folder here.
- See Sport Differently Quiz – http://www.SeeSportDifferently.org.uk/Quiz
- Mr Motivator’s free audibly accessible workout series – SeeSportDifferently.org.uk/HomeWorkouts
Interviews available with:
- Case studies as featured on the See Sport Differently website.
- RNIB spokesperson: Gareth Davies, Strategic Engagement Manager, who has lived experience of losing his sight.
- British Blind Sport spokesperson: Alaina MacGregor, CEO
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
About British Blind Sport
Based in Leamington Spa, British Blind Sport is the national disability sport organisation that represents visually impaired people in sport across the UK. The charity helps blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. Sport and recreational activities can enhance the lives of people with visual impairments, by improving their health and increasing their social interaction. We encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games.
We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.