The FAI and Vision Sports Ireland recently met to discuss the future of football in Ireland for blind and visually impaired players.
At this meeting, it was decided that merging the existing Blind Football and Visually Impaired Football groups currently training was the way forward and those groups sat down in early 2018 to plan how this could be accomplished.
‘Vision Impaired Football Ireland’ was created and the new organisation will cater for people of all ages, abilities and levels of visual impairment who want to play football. Training sessions will be held at the same time and a team of coaches experienced in both formats of the game will design training sessions suitable for everybody.
Fortnightly training starts in early March in Cork and Dublin with plans to hold ‘come and try’ days in other parts of the country with a view to opening more training centres. Strong links with the visiting teacher network are being established and FAI Development officers are being trained to go in and deliver blind football in schools around the country.
Dates for matches between the 2 centres have been put in place and after Cork’s domination of both divisions last season Dublin will be keen to start well in the first round of matches which will be played In Dublin in April.
On the international front, the B1 team will travel to Poland in May to take part in a European tournament for developing countries and the B2/B3 team are in discussion with the Irish Football Association for a friendly match later this season.
Additional plans for fundraising events and establishing links with League of Ireland clubs are just some of the plans in the pipeline.
For further details on Vision impaired Football Ireland contact FAI Football for All Development Officer Nick Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0860472051
– Nick Harrison