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Helen’s story: How having a go helped nerves melt away

Football got pushed down the priority list for Helen when she lost her sight.

A rare condition, keratoconus, meant she had blurred vision. Her confidence took a knock as her fitness deteriorated, but when Helen heard of other ways to play the game, saying yes even though she was nervous, allowed her to fall in love with football all over again. This is her story.

Watch Helen’s story

How to play adapted football

Football can be adapted in different ways depending on your level of sight, making it an inclusive sport for everyone.

An adapted ball with stitched panels and metal shards to make a noise lets blind and partially sighted players know where the ball is.

There are two types of adapted football, depending on your visual ability. Blind football is for B1 grouped players only, those who have very little or no sight. This involves five players per team, with the goalkeeper being the only sighted player.

Partially sighted football is for players with some level of sight (B2-5 grouped). A smaller and heavier size 4 football is used, with all five partially sighted players playing on an indoor pitch.

Eyeshades can also be used, to ensure everyone is on an equal footing, no matter their level of vision.

Football is a great social sport which can be as competitive as you like and played both indoors and outdoors, depending on your visual ability.

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Group activities

Explore a variety of other activities you could try, if you haven’t found something right for you yet.

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