Sporting awareness

Organisations partner for game of visually impaired cricket

Blind cricket team
Optometry Scotland teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Cricket Scotland to host a visually impaired cricket match alongside local councillors earlier this month.

Three teams were established comprising Glasgow City councillors, Cricket Scotland players and people with sight loss. The indoor match was played at Kelvinhall Sport and Leisure Centre on Wednesday (17 April).

Eight city councillors and representatives from Cricket Scotland took to the pitch wearing blindfolds and 'sim-specs' that simulate different sight loss conditions, playing with volunteers and staff from RNIB Scotland.

Speaking about the event, head of communications at Optometry Scotland, Nicola McElvanney, said: “It was a great success as it helped to heighten awareness of the difficulties that people with sight loss can experience in everyday life. It was also a brilliant advertisement for how those difficulties can be overcome, and how Glasgow encourages sporting participation for all.”

Visually impaired cricket features a larger ball and the pitch features ball bearings to provide audible cues to players. The wicket is also larger and has flashing light bails on top that will make a noise when they fall off and hit the ground.

Jamila Shaikh, who has cone dystrophy which affects her ability to sense colours, took part in the match. She said: “Many visually impaired people find it difficult to get access to play sports. I am hoping that this match will highlight that, with the right accessibility, many more visually impaired people will take up the opportunity to play sports.”