We are the Football Association of Ireland in partnership with Vision Sports Ireland, opening eyes to football. Our project will open the doors to all people who are blind in Ireland who want to play football and give them the chance to do so.
Opening eyes to football is the most recent programme being developed and coordinated by the Football Association of Ireland’s Football For All programme.
The programme will create opportunities and give any blind people wanting to play football the chance to do so. The programme will create a player pathway for blind football from grassroots level through to international in partnership with Vision Sports Ireland and Paralympics Ireland.
By 2015 we would like to have a structure in place where anyone who is born with blindness or acquires it and choose to play football will be in a position to pursue their dream.
In the coming years, we hope to:
- Establish three regional centers of blind football, in Leinster, Connaught and Munster
- Develop a B1 football coaching course
- Training and education of six coaches per regional center
- Recruitment of players from six upwards, with a minimum of ten players per regional center
- Purchase of three sets of pitch surrounds for regional centers
- Establish a training schedule and inter-center competition structure
- Purchase of equipment for each regional center
Benefits of the Programme
Through our efforts we are able to provide a number of benefits to our members including:
- Open the game of association football to a population that although is a minority group within disability sport, deserve the opportunity
- Health benefits of exercise and involvement in a sport
- Increase the awareness of the abilities of players who have lost their sight from birth or acquired it after
- Psycho-social health benefits with increased positivity, self-confidence and morale
- Allow players to fulfil a dream of representing their country or just playing the sport they love