VICTA and the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) teamed up in August to deliver our very first ‘Sports Camp’. Sports which are accessible for young people who are blind or partially sighted can be a hugely positive outlet throughout life. Sports encourage confidence, provide a platform for young people to expand friendships, promote inclusion and all while staying physically active. VICTA was excited to be able to offer this opportunity alongside RNC for attendees to try a variety of sports in a fun and social setting. The activity was open to all sporting abilities for young people aged 14 to 17 years.
The Sports Sessions
Our group came together at the college, made introductions and then dived straight in to our first sporting session. We began with a taster of golf, learning how to aim and swing the club, then travelled to a nearby driving range to put our new skills to the test and try a range of different golf clubs. Dinner that evening was at the driving range restaurant and then back to the RNC for a chance to relax before our next few busy days.
Day two started with a nice energy-fuelled athlete’s breakfast and then a quick game of VI Cricket, followed by a visit from a Goalball UK coach. They taught us all how the game works, went through some skills and drills for the match and we then played a number of games against each other to trial our new skills.
After lunch, we had a go at judo, with the expertise of the RNC instructor who was a 4th Dan judo instructor. Upon entering the ‘Dojo’ we learned the correct etiquette for judo, how to fall correctly and then commenced to practice the various moves against one another, eventually leading to a small competition to put our new skills to the test.
After our judo session, we ventured outside to the football court where we had a go at blind football, with coaching on ball skills and then a penalty shoot-out. Following our busy and active day, we travelled to a nearby pub for a well-earned dinner.
Day three saw us visit Oaker Wood Outdoor Centre, where we found high ropes challenges waiting for us. We began with the tree trekking course, which required a sure foot and steady hand, and then moved on to the leap of faith, requiring a strong nerve to make the jump. After lunch, it was onto the ‘monkey challenge’ where we had to climb a 20 metre tall tree to begin a high ropes course which led to a zip wire finish line. After the fun of high ropes and zip wire, we travelled back to RNC to get refreshed before heading back out to go bowling and have pizza.
To kick off our last day at RNC we began with a fitness session, led by one of our volunteers. This then took us into our final activity – the UK VI Boccia Championships, and all of our participants stood a chance of winning. We began with three groups and through a series of rounds we reached some very tense semi-finals, with one of the closest games ever seen by the Boccia England representative. Our finalists gave us an even more nail biting game, and the eventual winner was crowned the UK VI Boccia Champion!
We would like to thank our hosts, the Royal National College for the Blind for their amazing hospitality, Goalball UK, Boccia England and of course our volunteers.
It was fantastic to see all of our young people throwing themselves into the activities and giving all of the sports a try. We hope the break has provided some inspiration for future hobbies and who knows, maybe even professions!