Survey highlights barriers to sports participation among visually impaired

Cycling, swimming and going to the gym are the top three activities that people living with a visual impairment would most like to take up

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Metro Blind Sport has found that cycling, swimming and going to the gym are the top three activities that people living with a visual impairment would most like to take up.

The charity has completed a survey of 60 members and 111 non-members as part of its Impact Report, which examines how much influence it is having on sports participation.

The survey found that 71% of members are achieving the 150 minutes of activity per week as recommended by the Government’s chief medical officer.

It also revealed the factors that would increase participation, which included facilities close to home (67%), availability of specialist coaching (47%) and having somebody to go with (43%).

The main barriers to participation are venue location (17%), lack of information about available activities (47%) and not having somebody to go with (14%).

CEO of Metro Blind Sport, Martin Symcox, said: “It is estimated that there are two million people in the UK, including 194,000 Londoners, living with sight loss that significantly impacts upon their life. This presents a significant opportunity to leisure operators who can reduce barriers and provide inclusive services.”