See Sport Differently tackles barriers to physical activity

The new campaign aims to support blind and partially sighted people to get involved in sports and physical activity

Yahya, one of the See Sport Differently supporters, is in a jiu-jitsu position with his friend. His friend is laying with his back on the matt on the floor, holding onto Yahya who is pressed on top of him, with his back against his friends chest in a jiu-jitsu grapple
See Sport Differently

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and British Blind Sport (BBS) have launched a new campaign aiming to address the disparity in physical activity among blind and partially sighted people.

See Sport Differently will highlight the barriers people with sight loss can face to getting involved in sport and physical activity.

The campaign will seek to celebrate the journeys of blind and partially sighted people to getting active and share video testimonials

The campaign was launched as part of efforts to address findings that over half of the blind and partially sighted population are inactive – doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Research by the charity has also found that one in three blind and partially sighted people felt there were sports or fitness activities they would like to try but have not been able to.

The partners have created an accessible online hub to provide information and guidance on accessible sports and activities, as well as how blind and partially sighted people can get involved.

The portal also includes an interactive quiz where visitors to the website can find out what activities would suit them best.

Helen, one of the See Sport Differently supporters, is holding a football and smiling proudly in a sports hall
See Sport Differently supporter, Helen, holding a football

Vivienne Francis, RNIB’s chief social change officer, said: “See Sport Differently is working to get more blind and partially sighted people actively participating in physical activity and improve understanding of sight loss across the sports sector.”

The online hub will pinpoint existing local activities that people with sight loss can get involved in.

Francis added: “Creating positive wellbeing through fair and equal participation in physical activity and the opportunity to experience sport in an inclusive way is one of the key priorities of this campaign.”

Derrick Errol Evans MBE, known as ‘Mr Motivator,’ has supported the campaign with a series of free audibly-accessible home workout videos.

The fitness instructor emphasised that “exercise is for everyone,” adding: “The important thing is to get started and do something.”

Ken, one of the See Sport Differently supporters, is cycling on a tandem bike with a friend down a country road. The tarmac is slick with fresh rain but both men have broad smiles on their faces as they steer downhill
Ken Reid, See Sport Differently supporter, cycling on a tandem bike

Ken Reid, 63, from East Lothian, began to lose his sight at 26 years of age as a result of retinitis pigmentosa.

Reid has found ways to adapt the sports and activities he participates in, sharing: “These days I choose the quieter times to visit my local pool, where people are always willing to help if I need it. And there are counting techniques I can use so I know exactly how many strokes there are to a length.”

A tandem bike and cycling buddies also means Reid has continued cycling.

Banner image: Yahya, a See Sport Differently supporter, in a jiu-jitsu position with a friend