Sight loss charities net £1m to boost sports take up

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and British Blind Sport have received £1m in funding from Sport England to boost participation in sport among people with sight loss.

The funding is for three years and will back initiatives through the See Sport Differentially project, which aims to encourage inclusive sport.

A mass participation event is scheduled for 2022 in multiple locations as part of the project.

It also includes a three-month research project to look at the impact Covid-19 has had on physical activity among blind and partially sighted people.

Also involved are a volunteering programme, a campaign to improve awareness of sight loss, and participation opportunities among sports governing bodies.

“We are very pleased with this significant investment from Sport England with funding from the National Lottery to help get more blind and partially sighted people participating in sport regularly,” said RNIB chief executive Matt Stringer.

“With the numerous Covid-19 lockdowns, it has shown us all the value of mental and physical well-being. The benefits of sport are essential to anybody leading a fulfilled, positive, and healthy life and plays a major part of an inclusive society.

“The project will also help break down society’s perceptions that sight loss is a barrier to participating in physical activity and experiencing sport.

Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive of British Blind Sport said: “We hope to inspire and activate our community by sharing positive messages about the achievements and experiences of blind and partially sighted people in sport and physical activity."

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO Sport England added: " See Sport Differently will help provide more access and opportunities and the programme will work to involve the wider sector and help improve training, so blind and partially sighted people are better able to enjoy all the benefits that being more active brings."

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