In the UK, there are an estimated 25,000 children under sixteen years old, who are blind or partially sighted. Approximately 64 per cent of those are educated in mainstream schools (RNIB survey of VI services, 2012).
Many children with visual impairments face barriers in physical activity. The reasons for this can include poor inclusive PE teaching and limited access to adapted sports equipment. Research shows that the benefits of being active for these children extend beyond physical health to increased self-esteem and confidence, greater independence and improved social skills. Therefore it is vital that British Blind Sport provides these children with more opportunities to be active.
British Blind Sport’s new Jingle Balls campaign aims to increase the number of children with visual impairments taking part in regular physical activity. This festive season for every £10 donated, the charity will give a new jingle ball to a blind or partially sighted child.
A jingle ball is an audible soft play ball with ball-bearings inside that makes a noise when kicked, thrown or rolled. They’re a great way for children to get active, improve motor skills and have fun with friends and family all at the same time. Jingle balls can be used in a wide range of sport and recreational activities.
Children who have already benefited from receiving a jingle ball from British Blind Sport, said the following about their experience.
“It’s great! Because I can hear it, I can play catch and bounce with my sister.”
“It’s my best ball! I hear it and it is soft and sticks to my hands.”
Parents of children who have recently received a jingle ball said:
“It may seem a simple thing, but to have a ball specifically for him has made a huge difference. He loves it and wants to play with it all the time.”
“It’s good that she can do something at home. She’s definitely going to get more exercise.”
Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive at British Blind Sport said:
“We’re delighted to mark World Sight Day today with the launch of our annual Jingle Balls campaign. As British Blind Sport celebrates its 40th year, we hope that supporters and friends of the charity will join in the Christmas spirit and help us to make a visible difference through sport.”
Buy a jingle ball today and give the gift of sport to a blind and partially sighted child this Christmas.
Donations can be made online at https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/britishblindsport/jingleballs2015 or by texting JING45 £10 to 70070.
For more information about British Blind Sport and the Jingle Balls campaign visit britishblindsport.org.uk.