A small group of blind athletes are hoping to score big next month when they introduce a new sport to their Trinidadian counterparts.
A team of five from the National United Society for the Blind are working to introduce goalball, a sport played by blind and visually-impaired athletes, at a development workshop and demonstration slated for September in Trinidad and Tobago.
And they’ll be doing so with the help of corporate entities including CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank which recently made a donation to the society’s annual fundraising initiative for 2014.
Vice-president of the society and chairperson of the fundraising committee, Roger Vaughan, said the contribution was made to the society’s education and sports fund and would be used to introduce goalball at a one-week workshop in the twin-island republic.
Goalball, which is played at the Paralympic level, consists of two halves of 12 minutes each with two teams of three athletes each playing against each other. The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opposite goal while opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. Bells inside the balls indicate the direction of the oncoming ball.
“This experience will build the self-esteem and communications skills of the team travelling to Trinidad. They’ll also get an opportunity to introduce the sport so as to increase the number of competitors across the Caribbean,” Vaughan explained.
The vice-president added that the society was tremendously grateful for the bank’s assistance. “It’s a great help and will make our fundraising journey easier.”
Donna Wellington, managing director of CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados, said the bank was eager to assist the society in its pursuits particularly in light of the current economic climate.
“We’re keenly aware of the increasing level of need among members of our community particularly those vulnerable in one way or another and are committed to helping wherever we can.”
The National United Society of the Blind provides services and education for the blind and visually impaired as well as sensitizes the general public on issues related to blindness. With an active membership of about 40 members the society also lobbies on behalf of persons with disabilities.