See Sport Differently

See Sport Differently

A group photo of visually impaired athletes dressed in their sports gear. From left to right: Eilidh (skiing), Sundip (running), Saffire (swimming), Isobel (ice-skating), Matthew (cricket).

(Photo credit: RNIB)

About the project

See Sport Differently is a new Sport England-funded initiative that aims to break down barriers in sport and increase opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to participate in physical activity. British Blind Sport are working in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Over the next three years, we want to increase the opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to participate in sport, raise awareness of sight loss across the sports sector and workforce, improve accessibility across sports venues and encourage 25,000 more blind and partially sighted people to get involved in sport.

We are working closely with leisure centres and National Governing Bodies including The FA, England Athletics, Swim England, Goalball UK, The LTA, Worcester Warriors and The Change Foundation to develop our services and support partners to meet the needs of blind and partially sighted people in sport. Blind and partially sighted people will shape the development of this project, and while it is still in its early stages, we are excited to see how it develops and the impact it will have on the larger community.

How to get involved

This exciting project will begin in 2021, and there are many ways you can get and stay active while we work to develop and provide new opportunities. BBS encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned athlete, there is something for everyone from football and cricket to guide running and goalball. Click the button below to learn more about Vi-friendly sports.

Find opportunities in your area using our Activity Finder, which is a national database of over 1000 clubs representing 30 sports. All of these clubs are accessible and welcome new members. If you are aware of opportunities not currently registered, help us to share them with our community. Please encourage them to register at: https://britishblindsport.org.uk/club-registration/.

In addition to our club finder, if you want to take up running and need a guide to support you, we have our Find A Guide database, in partnership with England Athletics, which allows you to find a trained and licenced guide in your area to help you start or continue running safely.

To help keep our members and service users #ActiveAtHome, we at BBS have worked with inclusive trainers to develop a programme to keep you healthy and active in the comfort of your own living room. We have a range of workouts suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Click the button below to find out more about our strength and tone, HITT, yoga, boxing, or pilates classes or visit our YouTube channel to try one of our pre-recorded videos.

We recognise that for some people, their first step into sport can be quite daunting. Throughout the year, along with sporting partners, BBS host free taster events across the country where people can be encouraged to try out a variety of sports and physical activities to see which suits them best. Click the button below to find out more about our upcoming events.

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. Watch our campaign film to see our sporting stars in action for some inspiration.

Help spread the message by sharing our campaign video and how you See Sport Differently using our hashtag #SeeSportDifferently.

Download the See Sport Differently video transcript

From recreational to Paralympic level, hear more from our wonderful #SeeSportDifferently sporting stars who already take part in sport and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of staying active. Visit: https://www.rnib.org.uk/about-us/see-sport-differently/real-sporting-stories

Education and insight

Coaches and volunteers play an important role in developing recreational activities across the country. We want to ensure that they have the knowledge to create an inclusive and accessible sporting environment for people with sight loss.

Our ‘Coaching People with a Visual Impairment’ e-learning helps sports providers improve their knowledge and skills so that they can confidently include blind or partially sighted people in their activity sessions. BBS and the RNIB are considering developing a series of new training programmes as part of the See Sport Differently project to raise awareness and promote accessibility throughout the sector.

Get in touch

Please contact the See Sport Differently Team if you have any questions or would like more information about the project. Visit www.rnib.org.uk/see-sport-differently to fill out an inquiry form, or send an email to SeeSportDifferently@rnib.org.uk. You can also contact RNIB by phone at 0303 123 9999. (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

You can reach British Blind Sport by emailing Charlotte Lloyd, NGB Liaison Officer, at Charlotte@britishblindsport.org.uk or call our office on 01926 424247.