NPC introduces football for the visually impaired

National Paralympics Olympic (NPC) has said it is introducing football for the visually impaired and partially sighted people around the country.

The sport for the blind is a grassroots project supported and funded by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) across the African continent at large.

Dominique Bizimana, the former president of NPC and their international advisor, has told Times Sport that the initiative will kick-off with visually impaired children.

“They (UEFA) have donated balls in some countries. It is a pilot project, if it becomes a success, they will send to us more equipment for the project,” explained Bizimana, now a volunteer helping to distribute the special balls across Africa. 

“So far in Paralympics, there is a five-to-five a side football programme for visually impaired people,” Bizimana said, adding that this is a grassroots project designed to develop athletes who would in the future will compete at regional and international competitions.

In Rwanda, the project started by introducing the sport to the special school for children with visual impairment in Rwamagana over the weekend.

Jean Claude Kamanzi, a visually impaired adult from Rwamagana who supports the initiative, said the project will give beneficiaries positive experience in sports.

“For the visually impaired getting involved in sport will be a wonderful thing,” he said.

“This will help break down barriers, sports like football can be the springboard for the visually impaired and provide an enjoyable sporting experience,” he added.

The campaign, “A Ball for All”, was created by Greek youth trainer Elias Mastoras and Youthorama Young Vision, with view to provide special soccer balls for free distribution to blind children around the world.

Bizimana said he hoped this special ball will be availed in every home and school of a blind child.