Colour scheme Original Theme High Contrast Theme Yellow Contrast Theme Muted Theme
Text size Increase text size Decrease text size


Supporting Visually Impaired People in Athletics

Welcome to the Visually Impaired Athletics Resource produced by British Blind Sport in partnership with England Athletics.

A boy holds a red shot in a shot put competition.

At British Blind Sport we believe that every person with a visual impairment has the right to participate in the sport of his or her choice. We understand that there are many hurdles and barriers to overcome in order for each and every VI person to have the same accessibility as a sighted person. This resource has been created with the specific purpose to assist anyone who is delivering athletics activities with support, ideas and guidance on how to include people with a visual impairment.

This resource is all about helping mainstream athletics providers to be VI friendly through their provision of training, resources and support.

This resource will enable coaches, leaders and parents/carers to:

  • Have a better understanding of the needs of people with a visual impairment.
  • Apply their knowledge to meet the needs of people with a visual impairment.
  • Use basic communication skills to support the needs of people with a visual impairment.
  • Understand where you can obtain further support to ensure your club/group is fully accessible and inclusive to people with a visual impairment.

By making small and simple changes you will be able to include people with a visual impairment in your mainstream athletics sessions. Many of the tips you will find here will be beneficial to all the participants in your group, not just people with a visual impairment.

Alaina MacGregor“Our vision is to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have as many opportunities as possible to participate in sport. The key to raising participation is ensuring that there are plenty of coaches and teachers across the UK who understand how to create an inclusive sporting environment. The purpose of each of our bespoke educational resources is to raise awareness and knowledge of how to include a visually impaired person to ensure that they have a positive and meaningful experience in the sport of their choice. I am delighted that England Athletics provided expertise when we put together this resource and I would like to thank them on behalf of British Blind Sport and the visually impaired community.”

Alaina MacGregor
Chief Executive Officer, British Blind Sport
Chris Jones“We are proud that athletics is perceived by many as being a trailblazing sport in the area of inclusive delivery.

“We have made a deliberate commitment to ensure that all resources, events and delivery programmes are inclusive at the point of use in recognition that the sport of athletics should be accessible to all and that there should be no divisions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank British Blind Sport for their continued partnership and expertise. We hope that you enjoy reading this resource and that it provides inspiration to you to take action in whatever important role you play making athletics a visually impaired (VI) friendly sport”

Chris Jones
Chief Executive, England Athletics
David Blunkett“Whether you join in sport recreationally or compete to represent your country, the positive experience of participating in sport starts with a knowledgeable coach or teacher. British Blind Sport have recognised the need for coaches and teachers across the UK to understand how to adapt sport and activities to be fully inclusive for visually impaired children and adults.

“These fantastic resources help to break down barriers to participation as well as assist and provide tips on how to make each sporting experience enjoyable for every visually impaired person regardless of their ability. We know sport can be the springboard for so many things for a VI person such as; to increase confidence, develop spatial awareness, grow a social network and provide a sense of accomplishment.

“With this in mind, I wholeheartedly support this educational programme as I recognise British Blind Sports ambition to make a visible difference through sport.”

Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Sally Gunnell“Great sporting experiences start with great coaches. When working with visually impaired (VI) children and adults, it is more important than ever for coaches to be skilled in knowing how to provide the right support so that the VI person has a positive experience whether it’s their first time on the track to winning a Paralympic medal.

“I fully support British Blind Sports educational programme to educate coaches and teachers to ensure that visually impaired people can maximise their sporting potential.”

Sally Gunnell
Patron, British Blind Sport