The players are put through their paces – Blind Football in Australia

Last weekend’s (7 August 2016) blind football workshop in Melbourne, Australia, was a resounding success by all accounts.

David Connolly from Social Goal reports on the event…

The Future is Bright for the Beautiful Game With the Paralympics almost upon us, an exciting event was held at the Knox Regional Football Centre in Melbourne on Sunday 7 August – the Melbourne B1 blind football workshop.

This workshop is the biggest step forward for B1 blind football in Australia so far. The workshop was facilitated by IBSA Football Chairman Ulrich Pfisterer and provided an interactive workshop for potential players, coaches and volunteers to learn more about the game.

David Connolly, Co-founder of Social Goal, described the day, “It was great to welcome Uli back to Melbourne to run this session and fantastic to see so much enthusiasm from the players and coaches involved. Uli really put everyone through their paces, and everyone really grabbed the opportunity with both hands, soaking up as much information as they could.”

Those interested in being part of the first ever Melbourne B1 blind football development squad were invited to attend the workshop and were presented with Melbourne City Football Club playing uniforms before taking part in the session. “The Melbourne City Football Club uniforms really set the scene for a professional football session. City in the Community, Melbourne City Football Club’s community arm, is a key partner in the development of blind football opportunities here in Melbourne and we really appreciate their continued support,” said David.

The players and coaches were impressed by Ulrich’s professional approach. Player Prasantha Wijeyasiri said, “learning the correct technique and gaining a better understanding of the game today has inspired me to go away and do some work on my own so that I can improve my skills and confidence in blind football. I can’t wait to play an official game.”

The future looks bright for this truly beautiful format of the world game, with Blind Sports NSW attending the workshop and an upcoming launch of blind football in New Zealand, partnerships and connections in the region are growing.

David explained, “This was an exciting chapter in our blind football journey. We have a better understanding of B1 blind football and we now put the call out to players, coaches, and potential sponsors and partners, to get on board as we look to grow the game here in Melbourne and Victoria. We hope this workshop can be the catalyst for other States to get involved, create a team, and all work together so that competitive games can be played here in Australia and the region, kicking goals to make football accessible for all.”

The workshop was coordinated by Social Goal, with the support of local partners Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria, Football Federation Victoria, Melbourne City Football Club and Blind Sports Australia.

Pfisterer now heads to New Zealand for the official launch of blind football in the country in partnership with Blind Sport New Zealand.

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