Blind and visually impaired children flock to Sheffield for athletics

Liam Grayson
Liam Grayson
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Blind and visually impaired youngsters overcame their disabilities to take part in an athletics event in Sheffield.

The UK’s biggest athletics event for blind children involved 100 visually impaired youngsters competing in events at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The track and field event, which was run by Action for Blind People and sponsored by Boots Opticians, brought together children from Actionnaires clubs, which are run by Action for Blind People to give children with a visual impairment the chance to take part in a range of activities.

Liam Grayson, aged 14, from Sheffield, who has cortical visual impairment and is partially sighted, took part in sprinting, long jump and javelin events.

He said: “It was very exciting to take part and I made some new friends. I’m looking forward to coming again next year.”

The event, now in its ninth year and sponsored by Boots for five, brings together blind and partially sighted children to take part in a range of track and field events which one day could help them launch a career as a paralympic athlete.

Lesley Inganni, Operations Manager at Action for Blind People, said: “The day is a fantastic way of bringing children together through a range of sports which might not be available to them elsewhere.

“The event teaches the children that their sight loss is no barrier to achieving their goals while at the same time improving their social skills by encouraging them to mix and make new friends.”

Ben Fletcher, Managing Director of sponsor Boots Opticians, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this fantastic event. 

“Supporting young people is really important to us, so it is a real privilege to be a part of providing these inspirational children with the chance to enjoy the excitement of sport which so many of us take for granted.”