After a hiatus of several months, recreational adult blind football is back in Victoria, Australia. Blind Sports Victoria announced on Saturday that a training session would take place next Sunday, April 19, at Docklands multi-purpose sports field located on Harbour Esplanade between Collins and Bourke Streets in Docklands, Victoria from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM local time.
Blind Sports Victoria has been involved with a number of blind football events in the past year, either by drawing attention to them, actively promoting them or hosting them. In January of this year, there was the MiniRoos School Holiday Clinic for junior and youth places. It was an inclusive event, with Melbourne City FC coaches and players making appearances. In December of last year, the sport was demoed at AAMI Park in front of a crowd of 7,721 people. In October of last year, there was another adult recreational blind football event organized by Blind Sports Victoria.
Blind football is not a hugely popular sport in Australia, with the country never having had a national 5-a-side team. Last year though, a pair of Victorians went to South Korea to watch the IBSA Blind Football World Championships, and Blind Sports Victoria has been active in supporting the sport. Vision Australia has also been working with the University of Queensland Faculty of Engineering to develop a new soccer ball that would be more inclusive and work better at assisting vision impaired players in locating the ball. Current balls generally rely on bells inside the ball or putting something on the outside of the ball to have it make noise. The balls under development rely on a speaker inside the ball and make different tones.