Sibel Cox

Sibel Cox

BBS First Steps is helping Sibel keep active and has empowered her to take part in sport and make new friends! 

9-year-old Sibel has Nystagmus and a right convergent squint. Sibel always wanted to play outdoor sports with her sister, Savannah, but was worried about sudden movements and uneven ground. Sibel is dribbling her BBS Jangles audible ball and lining up to score a goal into a football net..

Sibel and her family have had a difficult time during lockdown. Sibel and her sister were classed as vulnerable because they have Down Syndrome, and so they spent most of their time at home or in the garden. Sibel became so reclusive that she didn't want to leave the house, and her family found it difficult to keep her activities interesting and fun.

Sibel is doing football drills with brightly coloured cones on the floor.Sibel's family first learned about British Blind Sport through 'First Steps,' a project for children with sight loss that helps to improve motor skills through physical activity. The First Steps Activity Pack gave Sibel the confidence and tools she needed to participate in a series of fun games and exercises that the entire family could enjoy. She became empowered to initiate activities with her sister (and the dog!). As the restrictions lifted, Sibel gradually transformed into a more confident and happy version of herself. She even brought Jangles (the First Steps audible ball) to school to show her classmates, and it is now a part of her PE lessons.

Now, Sibel is more self-assured in her abilities and enjoys being active. Her newly gained confidence prompted her family to contact Manchester City’s ‘One City Disability’, an organisation that provides children with free and inclusive open access football sessions. Every Saturday, she gets excited to put on her Manchester City football shirt and head to the stadium to play football. She also swims once a week and participates in a local dance group for people with Down Syndrome.

Sibel’s Mum says, "We'd like to say a massive thank you to British Blind Sport and to Manchester City who have continued to support Sibel to get out and enjoy being active. We would encourage anyone to reach out because, regardless of ability, there is a sport or group out there for you. Don't be afraid; we've gone to sessions where Sibel didn't feel like participating, but the fact that she went is a positive step. You'll find that you'll be welcomed by people who are just like you and make lifelong friends."

To find out more about our appeal to unite people with sight loss over Christmas and to assist us in combating inactivity and isolation amongst blind and partially sighted people, visit our Christmas Appeal page.