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Vision Impaired Students Try Rugby League

Blind Sports NSW hosted a camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen this week where NRL Game Development Officers (GDO) ran programs for 30 athletes with low vision for the first time.

GDO’s ran an adaptive version of the program where sound cues, like clicking of fingers for a pass the ball target, were used to aid the participants who learned to catch, pass, run with and kick a Rugby League ball.

“It’s about changing little aspects - whether it be the distance we throw the ball or the sound in the ball that we kick to make it more enjoyable and safer for them,” Programs Manager - Blind Sports NSW Isabella Nimmo said.

Rugby League Introduced to low vision athletes

“It’s great, it gives them an opportunity to meet new friends in an environment that’s welcoming.

“It’s an easy ice breaker if they don’t have those social skills that the average person might have.

“A lot of the students were asking when will they get to do the Rugby League component of the program and were excited to get started, so there’s obviously a few fans among them.

“They play in other sports as well, so quite a few of these guys are cricketers and a few of them competed in our recent tennis competitions.

“I love sports and the fact that they love sports and get to play with their friends - new and returning - is just the best.”

Football, AFL and cricket were also tried by the athletes, who hailed from all over NSW, including Newcastle and the Northern Beaches of Sydney.