BFA supports regional blind football workshop
The Barbados Football Association (BFA) showed its support for diversity in football last week by donating goal bars, nets and protective barriers to a regional workshop on football for the blind and visually impaired organized by the National United Society of the Blind (NUSB) in partnership with the Barbados Blind Football Committee.
In addition to the equipment, the BFA sent three representatives – Kent Hall, Head of Coaching Education, Fitzgerald Carter of the Talent Development Program and referee Tricia Forde – to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) to attend the three-day workshop. as part of a collective learning exercise and to help raise awareness of football for the blind and visually impaired.
The workshop, supported by the Barbados Paralympic Association, various national disability organizations and the International Blind Sports Federation, brought together a diverse group of disability sports stakeholders from Jamaica, Guyana, from St. Vincent, Grenada and Barbados, with international blind sports facilitators offering both classroom theory sessions and hands-on activities. Minister for Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, was present and delivered the keynote address.
BFA’s new technical director, Emmerson Boyce, also visited the workshop to better understand the development initiative.
“The BFA is really delighted to be able to lend a hand in any way we can to help develop diversity in football,” he said.
“It is fantastic to see participants from across the region coming together and raising awareness of the unique sporting needs of the blind and visually impaired, and personally I am very much looking forward to seeing this aspect of the game grow exponentially over the coming years. . .”
BFA Head of Coach Education Kent Hall echoed those sentiments and said the workshop was an invaluable experience.
“I walked into the workshop curious and just wanted to lend my support,” he said. “But I came away feeling not only more knowledgeable about this particular niche of the sport, but also having a better understanding of people and communication. It was really inspiring and this experience will definitely change the way I live. We thank the National United Society of the Blind Barbados for welcoming us to be part of such a wonderful learning opportunity.
NUSB Sports Committee Chairman Pedro Belgrave said he was delighted with the participation of participants and thanked the BFA for their donation and support in helping to generate much-needed awareness.
“This workshop is an important step in the development not only of football for the blind and visually impaired, but also in our mission to bring more sports to the Caribbean for people with disabilities in general,” he said. “I want us to be able to shine in all areas and reach the full potential of what is possible – I sincerely wish that we could send a football team from Barbados to the next Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024. We thank everyone involved this week for their support and for helping to set the wheels in motion towards this goal.
BFA President Randy Harris said attendance at workshops of this nature underscores the Association’s strong commitment to playing a vital role in the development of the game at all levels in Barbados.
“The BFA’s primary aim will always be to guide the development of football, and that of course includes areas like this which may be on the periphery of day-to-day operations,” he said.
“We intentionally continue to explore new landscapes for the development of football, and we thank the National United Society of the Blind Barbados for inviting us to participate and continue to be part of the wider conversation for the progression of the sport in the future. Barbados. .”