Vision Sports Ireland’s ‘Pass-Sport’ programme enables people who are blind and vision impaired to return to sport. Pass-Sport has been approved under the Governments ‘The Path Ahead’ Reopening Society and Business and the return to Sport and physical activity.
The Pass-Sport programme registers anyone with a vision impairment and their guide/pilot from outside of their household, to enable travel to and from a sport or leisure facility and to participate in exercise, including walking, running, swimming, blind tennis, soccer, tandem cycling and any sporting activities. The programme supports potential contact tracing requirements in place by the HSE and Department of Health.
Whilst a Sport Ireland general population survey reports record low levels of sedentary behaviour at just 11% of the population, a survey by Vision Sports Ireland, now a part of NCBI, found a stark difference amongst people who are blind or vision impaired. 75% of blind and visually impaired respondents were unable to meet national recommended guidelines on physical activity during Covid-19, with an alarming 90% reporting their physical activity had been severely limited due to Covid-19, largely due to physical and social distancing guidelines restricting the use of guides/pilots for exercise. Half of surveyed members additionally reported a strong negative impact on their mental health as a result of these exercise restrictions.
It is understood that social distancing protocols and advice from the HSE/ Department of Health and Sport Ireland will be maintained whilst participating under the Pass-Sport programme.
Pass-Sport is open to anyone with a vision impairment.
Vision Sports Ireland recommends that volunteers/guides complete the Sport Ireland Covid-19 Course.