British Blind Sport have announced today on Facebook that are still recruiting for a pilot project funded by Big Lottery Fund and BBC Children in Need to encourage health and fitness of visually impaired children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. If successful, the organisation plans to use the pilot to develop a national scheme.
The study involves providing participants with a free First Steps activity pack, which contains an audible ball, a pump, fitness activity cards and information on local accessible sports clubs. The study is designed to follow 53 different visually impaired children and their families over six months, with participants able to register via an application form on the organisation’s website.
Earlier this year, the organization published a study based on research in 2014 which found that 70% of British visually impaired children were in mainstream schools. During physical education classes, many students were not engaged because schools and their staff members were often not aware of accommodations they could make for these students. At the same time, some families of visually impaired children were found to be overly protective, which sometimes resulted in children not getting access to a lot of physical activity despite British government recommendations that children be active for 60 minutes a day.