Kildare students get a taste of visually impaired sports

Vision Sport Ireland ran awareness raising day at Maynooth University

Conor McHugh

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Conor McHugh

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conor@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare students get a taste of visually impaired sports

Maynooth University president Philip Nolan and CEO Vision Sports Finbarr Roche at the 'Blindfold Sports Challenge'

Maynooth Students today got a change to experience life with a visual impairment, as part of events surrounding the launch of a major fundraiser for Vision Sports Ireland.

The charity hosted a ‘Blindfold Sports Challenge’ on campus earlier today, which saw students playing football and other sports while blindfolded.

Vision Sports Ireland gives people who are blind or visually impaired a chance to play a variety of sports, which is credited with giving them a whole new lease of life as well as improved wellbeing, self esteem and an increase in their overall confidence. And some people associated with the charity have even gone as far as the Paralympics.

Student and Maynooth Students for Charity President Clare McCarrick plays blindfolded football

Today’s event was held to create awareness around sport participation for visually impaired students and to encourage all students on campus to get involved in blindfolded sports including soccer, golf, running workshops and tandem cycling. 

Maynooth Students for Charity have teamed up with Vision Sports Ireland as the beneficiary for funds to be raised on their Galway cycle 2019. Well known Maynooth man Joe Geraghty is the National Sport  Development officer for Vision Sports Ireland. He has been working to promote  this charity for over 30 years. 

“Today was a fantastic opportunity to create awareness and give visually impaired students the same opportunities to get involved in sport early in life. Sport participation will improve their wellbeing, self esteem and increase their overall confidence," Joe said.

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“Our aim is to build sport and leisure activity participation for young blind and vision impaired people. Within three years we aim to increase sport participation by blind and vision impaired children and youth by more than 150%,” he said.

The Galway Cycle is now into its 32nd year, with over €1.8 million raised for various Irish charities in that time. It is volunteer-led and managed so that costs are kept to an absolute minimum and is open to all, including Maynooth University students, alumni, friends and supporters.