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Last Updated: Tuesday October 06 2009 04:43 GMT

Being blind doesn't stop me doing sport


Press Packer Bailey has very little sight and used to feel lonely and unconfident.

But since taking part in Sport For The Blind his confidence has grown.

"I have a disease of the eyes called cone dystrophy, which has left me partly sighted. My two brothers have the same condition but my two sisters have normal vision.

While Attending SRSB (Sheffield Royal Society For The Blind) I was told by a member of staff about Actionnaires, a sports project for blind and partially sighted children, run by Action for Blind People.

I didn't know what to expect. I was excited but my confidence was low.

At school, I was always getting left out of football games at break. Most days I would play on my own as other children would run around in the yard and I would lose them.

Favourite activity

My Actionnaires club is held in the sports hall for children with sight problems and other disabilities. The club co-ordinator made everyone feel at ease.

I think Stuart is the best because he understands and listens to everyone. My brother Lucas and I take part in activities such as football, cricket, basketball and swimming as well as much more.

We sometimes have days out horse-riding and bowling. Football is our favourite activity and we go to every Sheffield United home game with our dad.

Some of the kids taking part
Some of the kids taking part

On 19 September, my club and I took part in the annual Northern Interclub Athletics competition at the English Institute of Sport.

We were all really excited as last year, in Leeds, we won!

This year, I took part in loads of events, including the 60m sprint, standing vertical high jump, soft javelin and mixed relay.

There were over 120 kids there from across the north and it was really good to make some new friends.

Even though we were all competing against each other, we all encouraged each other at every event.

Even though we didn't win we all tried our best. Thanks to Actionnaires I can now swim and I am one of the top pupils in my class at school.

'Thank you'

My confidence has grown so much and I have noticed other children have grown in confidence as well.

Our club is every Sunday but if we don't get some funding to help Actionnaires it may become less.

I hope this doesn't happen as so many children with disabilities would miss out like I used to at school.

A big thank you to Faye, Jenna, Phil and Stuart - the best club coordinaters in the world. We are all very grateful for your guidance and support.

And a big special thank you to everyone at Actionnaires parents who volunteer and children who are now my friends.

If you want to know more call Action for Blind People on 0800 915 4666."

Bailey, 10, Sheffield, England

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