Latest Laois Sport: Portlaoise AFC Vision Impaired side play local Kennedy Cup Squad on equal terms
Portlaoise A.F.C. Vision Impaired team as they welcomed the Carlow U14 Kennedy Cup
A first for the Portlaoise A.F.C. Vision Impaired team as they welcomed the Carlow U14 Kennedy Cup Squad to Rossleighan Park last Sunday morning.
Sean Poland from Vision Sports Ireland gave the Carlow team a briefing which included sharing some information about visual impairments before providing the players with goggles to allow them to experience how it would feel to have several visual impairments.
They then played several highly competitive games using the goggles against the Vision Impaired Team. They played 6 v 6 games which consisted of 5 visually impaired outfielders and a fully sighted goalkeeper. In vision impaired football, the ball has a bell located at the centre to allow players locate the ball by hearing. On the breaks between the games, the teams not playing had the opportunity of experiencing full sight loss by being blind folded while performing simple ball skills.
It was a fantastic and enjoyable morning for all, with great feedback from players, coaches, and parents. This was the first match of its kind between a mainstream team and a visually impaired team. Well done to everyone involved and particularly Ger Brown and those at Portlaoise A.F.C. for their great work on inclusion and allowing all to participate in football. Initially this team was set up by Portlaoise A.F.C. with proud support from Laois Sports Partnership and Vision Sports Ireland.
As a result of this initiative, Vision Sports Ireland are keen to roll out more matches to allow more visually impaired footballers and mainstream footballers experience playing together. Another great example of how sport can bring people together.