|2015 YEARLY ROUND UP
Hi Everyone and welcome to our end of year update. Members have been busy bees this year. Hope you enjoy reading all about the activities. If you want to join in or have any feedback please get in touch.
During January and February we met with organisations to diarise their events and plan our own in between, maximising opportunities to be active and provide variety. We also did a couple of radio interviews to keep the local community informed.
MARCH had us springing into action with weekly Sound Tennis and blind football training. Proud to say The FA's Charter Standard Accreditation was confirmed for another year! We're a very sociable bunch and it was lovely to meet up for food and drinks in City Centre Manchester with the Working Age Macular group.
APRIL's Brilliant Britain Community Channel profiled the club and televised a football training session to explain how it works. For those revelling in technology there was the Henshaw's Tech Talk Group, but April's highlight was Meeting the England Blind Squad for a kick about inside the National Football Museum, where players learned a few handy tips. Our Ladies headed to Headingly to train in women's Sound Cricket. Late April had us off to Blackpool for a RP Social weekend and players did a presentation covering blind football, goal Ball and sound tennis. Those members enjoying a quieter lifestyle visited Manchester Art Gallery, the theatre and a Moody Blues Apollo concert.
In June we entered our first Goal Ball tournament and gained 2nd place and best team spirit. Well done team and good luck for the competition on 5 December.
Blind football continued through Summer and we had a visit to Scarborough for afternoon tea and shopping following a walk along the beach. As Leeds sound tennis has been running for a number of years we joined a few of their sessions to give coaches and players a higher level experience and on 22 July one B2 member gained 2nd place in a Tournament. For a gentler experience there's the weekly Wednesday swimming and yoga.
What a wonderful time we had on 22 August in Hereford at the opening ceremony and first England match of the Blind Football European championships. Not only was it blue skies and sunshine but England won all their games that day! We finished the month with Acoustic Rifle shooting in Blackburn and it was so popular we also had a Acoustic Rifle day in Altrincham. Another popular event is the Wigan Dual Controlled driving day with Galloways and we were lucky to have the sunshine with us that day as well!
A Museum and couple of Theatre trips later, we recruited more members and new people asked to be invited to our Face Book group following September's Manchester Sight Exhibition event. This meant a bigger crowd at our November Annual Social where there was lots of eating, drinking and chatter about new taster days, including Archery, a girly pamper day, a trip to Belle Vue Greyhounds and The Comedy Store. The socialising will continue as a few are travelling to Newcastle to party with the RP Group North.
December's activities are keeping us busy with that all important Goal Ball Tournament, Manchester Cathedral's Carols by Candlelight and on
Saturday 12 the Football Museum have invited us to an audio presentation and touch tour of their exhibits.
You'll no doubt agree it's been another action packed year and we would like to thank The Football Foundation, The Dan Maskell Trust, The Tennis Association, The Big Lottery Fund,Goal Ball UK, Greater Manchester Sport and Oldham's ThankYouth Awards for their support this year.
A massive thank you also to the volunteers and everyone who supports the group or donated funds.
To find out what's planned for 2016 please check the Greater Manchester V I Bees face book page.
That's all for now. Enjoy the Holiday festivities and best wishes for the New Year.
From Manchester Blind FC
And V I Bees
Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for blind athletes, originally devised in 1946 by the Austrian Hanz Lorenzen and German Sepp Reindle as a means of assisting the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. Teams alternate throwing or rolling the ball from one end of the playing area to the other, and players remain in the area of their own goal in both defense and attack. Players must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Games consist of two 12-minute halves (formerly 10-minute halves). Eyeshades allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players. Eyepatches may be worn under eyeshades to ensure complete coverage of the eye, and prevent any vision should the eyeshades become dislodged.
||Spotlight on… Volunteering
Twenty year old Bethanie took a short break from her studies at University to fill us in on what she's been up to. This month she started her third year studying for a BAEcon degree in Economics and Politics, which sounds like a lot of hard work.
It's great she also finds time to volunteer on a weekly basis for a Manchester-based club supporting children and adults to play blind football and tennis.
As part of her degree, Bethanie signed up to take an extra module called the Leadership Programme, which required her to take on some voluntary work.
"I really wanted to do something which would be helpful to others and have a positive impact. I searched around online and came across Manchester Blind Football Club; it really struck a chord with me and so I thought I'd give volunteering for the group a go."
Bethanie started volunteering a year ago and attends the club once a week. The club offers:
" Visually Impairment specific fun sports sessions for children aged 4 to 9 years
" Blind and part sighted football training for children aged 10 to 15 years
" Blind and part sighted football for 16s and overs both for fun and competition
Her tasks are varied and interesting; she could be helping out on the pitch, teaching football skills; supporting the club's leader who herself is registered as blind; undertaking administrative duties or helping to organise social days or evenings out. She's also started helping out with a new activity; Blind Tennis.
Her experience shows how volunteering can bring personal benefits at the same time as supporting others.
"It's helped me to put my own visual impairment into perspective and realise how I take things for granted. I have microphthalmia and wear a prosthetic eye, but life for those who are blind is undoubtedly very different.
"Working with children in particular, has helped me to become more aware of how I communicate and how to effectively deal with situations that may be difficult for them."
Manchester Blind Football Club is on the look-out for new members and volunteers.
If you, or someone you know, would like to join the group, please use the 'contact us' link.