Carmel Bassett

Carmel's story

"I was born with my eye condition. I have mystagmus, photophobia, border line glaucoma and albinism.

I am so grateful to my parents for not molly-coddling me when I was small and let me do the things other kids did, climbing trees, riding my bike etc. I’d encourage all parents with visually impaired children to do the same.

I used to take part in all the sports stuff at school: swimming, running, trampolining, football, anything really. I took up judo when I left school and loved it. I'd found a great sport that it didn't matter that I couldn't see so well. I was on an even par when we were on the mat. As I got older and couldn't do judo any more I got into circuit training and running, but archery is my love now.

How I got into archery was through a notice in the "events" section of the British Blind Sport magazine for a coaching weekend in Brighton. I went along and was made to feel really welcome by Sue, Colin and Malcolm and I was hooked! The sport was really satisfying as I found success quite quickly and was regularly hitting the target and getting scores. As I improved and got more confident I joined an archery club near me where I improved all the time. So much so that I qualified to go to the World Para Archery Champs in Donaueschingam, Germany in 2015. Here I amazed myself and got a bronze medal in the VI Category. Absolutely magic!

Playing sport has made me a lot more confident in myself, and even though my sight has deteriorated a bit it hasn't put me off because I now have the building blocks to have a go at anything. "You never know till you give it a go" is my motto. Thanks to my long suffering husband Bob, who never puts up barriers about my sight, I have led a full and enjoyable life. Of course there have been down times, but there always are in life. However, thanks to sport I've learnt to pick myself up again and move on to the next thing!"

If you want to try our VI archery, please get in touch with BBS: info@britishblindsport.org.uk or 01926 42 42 47