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Students who were blindfolded were relying on their other senses for navigation, when AFL Blind and Victorian Golf Association (VGA), together with Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria, conducted an Education Awareness program at Box Hill Institute this week.
Comments from students who participated in this great eye opening session.
“Participating in blind sports was an amazing experience, a hard one but an amazing one.
I have such a better understanding now about what goes into making the sports playable for vision impaired people and a greater respect for those athletes. The glasses they gave us then mimicked different categories of vision impairment making the sports harder to play, especially the blackout glasses where you could see nothing. We had to learn quickly to relying more on our hearing and less on our sight. Thank you to everyone there on the day, teaching us about this lesser known corner of the sporting world, it was truly a privilege to learn from you all”. Duncan
“To begin, we all attempted to catch/pick up the football completely blind. The task proved difficult to most of us as the ball flew past us easily while we stood still, hesitantly, with our hands out to catch the invisible footy. To wrap up the Blind AFL session, we played a quick scrimmage whilst incorporating the specific rules of Blind AFL to recreate the full experience as close to the real game as possible.
The second part of our Blind Sports Session was Blind Golf. We began the session by introducing ourselves to the Blind Golf players, including a completely blind player, along with his guide/coach who was also legally blind but could still see short distances. We each went to a putting mat, where the guide assisted us with hitting a putt totally blind. Although most of us weren't exactly Tiger Woods out there, a few were able to hit a hole in one, blind!
The Blind Sports session was an eye-opening experience that I would recommend to anyone looking to challenge themselves in a new and exciting way. Thank you to Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria and all the people working at Blind AFL and Blind Golf, without you this experience would not have been possible. Anthony
Doug Sloan, from Victorian Golf Association said
“Being able to give these students an insight into what it is like being blind can only create more awareness and understanding. The students were initially apprehensive under blindfold, but it was a wonderful learning tool for them all to experience what I do on a daily basis. For me, playing golf is not only for fitness but also as a social outlet. These education programs cause a ripple effect and lead to a greater understanding of some of the challenges that may be faced by people who are blind or vision impaired”.