HUNDREDS of volunteers are wanted to make the 2023 International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) World Games the best ever.
About 1,250 athletes from 70 countries are set to compete in Birmingham in August.
Sallie Barker, chair of British Blind Sport, said: “Hosting the 2023 IBSA World Games has the potential to be a watershed moment for the two million people in the UK who are blind or partially sighted – many of whom are currently reluctant to engage in sporting activities due to a range of factors.
“Not only will the Games showcase to the wider public blind and partially sighted athletes’ abilities, it is aiming to inspire others to take advantage of the pathways into sport and other volunteering opportunities.”
David Clarke, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal National Institute of Blind people and record goalscoring Paralympics GB footballer, said: “There are many sports that people wrongly think blind and partially sighted people are unable to participate in. Hopefully, the Games will challenge these misconceptions.”
Sports include men’s and women’s goalball, men’s blind football, judo, shooting, archery, chess, men’s and women’s cricket, powerlifting, ten-pin bowling, tennis, and showdown (a form of table tennis).
The World Games are being held across the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus, and at other regional venues, from August 18-27.
GOALBALL is one of the fastest growing sports for blind people – and is certain to attract big crowds at the 2023 International Blind Sports Federation World Games.
Mark Winder, head of Goalball UK, said: “Our GB squads are deep in preparation for the Games.It’s going to be a fantastic showcase of high-performance VI (visually impaired) sport right here in the UK.”
The aim of the game is to score goals by quickly and precisely firing a 1.25kg ball across the court and defending shots from the opposing team using their bodies.
Games are split into two 12-minute halves and are played on a court measuring 18m x 9m wide with two teams made up of three players each, and goals spanning the width of each nine-metre court end.