A leading leisure centre operator is partnering with a national charity to break down barriers to exercise and sport for blind and partially sighted people.
Places Leisure is working with the UK’s national charity for people with sight loss, British Blind Sport, to support the See Sport Differently (SSD) campaign.
SSD is a Sport England-funded programme between British Blind Sport and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, which aims to tackle the biggest sporting barriers for the two million people in the UK living with sight loss while encouraging more blind and partially sighted people to get active.
It comes as research from the See Sport Differently campaign has shown that one in two blind and partially sighted people feel that having sight loss stops them from exercising as much as they would like to, with one in three saying there are sports they want to try but have been unable to.
The SSD campaign has also revealed that accessibility, confidence and cost are listed as some of the key sporting barriers for those with sight loss.
Places Leisure – a social enterprise which operates more than 80 leisure centres across the UK – is seeking advice from British Blind Sport on ways to make their centres more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
The programme has already seen more than ten workshops delivered to 111 staff across five leisure centres, where British Blind Sport’s team educate them about what it’s like living with sight loss, as well as thinking about physical and psychological barriers that exist at the leisure centre for those with sight loss.
“Research shows that blind and partially sighted people are twice as likely to be inactive compared to people without sight loss – and leisure centre operators are ideally placed to help us change this,” said Frankie Rohan, Workforce Officer at British Blind Sport.
“Leisure centres are based at the heart of communities – and they are a great place for us to start in terms of helping to break down any perceived barriers for those with sight loss.
“The workshops themselves are delivered by people living with sight loss, such as myself, so the sessions provide great insight to leisure centre staff about quick and effective ways that they can make a difference.”
For more information about British Blind Sport visit www.britishblindsport.org.uk and for more details about See Sport Differently visit www.britishblindsport.org.uk/see-sport-differently.