The Blind Football Academy has received a £10,000 boost from Vision Charity. Based at The Royal National College (RNC) for the Blind, the Academy will stage this year's world blind football championships. It is the home of England's national team which is currently ranked in the top five. They are among 10 teams who will be competing at the IBSA World Blind Football Championship in August which acts as a qualifier for the 2012 Paralympics.
Vision Charity donated the money to help bolster development of the game.
Vision’s Patron, David Ginola, the ex-Everton, Aston Villa, Spurs and Newcastle footballer and French international player is a long-time supporter of blind football.
He said: “Before Coraline, my wife, and I became Patrons of Vision Charity I already had an interest in Blind Football so I am delighted that Vision Charity is supporting the sport by donating £10,000 to the Blind Football Academy.
Sport provides the tools that can enable the blind, visually impaired to become part of the action and this sport graphically demonstrates what can be achieved when the right support is given. This donation is a clear example of Vision’s aim to turn ambition into action. “
Vision Charity’s Executive Director, Larry Davis, said: "Sport is an enabler through which blind and visually impaired children can experience the benefits of team play and with it social inclusion."
This Academy which opened in 2008 is the world's first blind football academy. Head coach, Tony Larkin, said: "We're already seeing what a difference the academy can make. "Some of its first students are on the national squad for this year's World Cup. A sport like blind football can bring huge benefits to young people at all levels of the game. To have this support for the Academy’s work from Vision Charity is wonderful. We're absolutely delighted."