Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
SIX visually impaired pupils from Murehwa High School in Mashonaland East are appealing for assistance to take part in the second edition of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSAB1 Football) women’s training camp and games in Japan.
A total of £3 000 is needed to register the girls for the tournament that will be held in Tokyo and Saitama, Japan, from February 20-25, 2019.
“We’ve raised £2 200 in our crowd funding so far and the page closes in 12 days. We would need £5 000 in total to pay for participation fees, return air tickets, allowances for the selected athletes and blind football equipment,” said Keon Richardson, blind football development coordinator for Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee.
The draw for the tournament is set to take place in Japan today.
IBSA is in charge of a wide range of sports for athletes that are visually impaired or partially sighted.
It was founded in April 1981 when representatives from 30 countries met at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France, to set up the organisation.
“We are full and founding members of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) where we represent the interests of visually impaired sportsmen and sportswomen,” reads an excerpt from the organisation’s official website.
Football for the blind and partially sighted, which started out as a playground game for pupils in special schools for the visually impaired, has now become one of the most popular sports for people with a visual impairment worldwide.
The first women’s blind football camp in the world took place in Vienna, Austria, in May 2017 where 75 people representing 16 countries participated.