Fifty participants attended the blind football workshops held by the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee ©IBSA

Two blind football workshops were hosted in the Bulawayo and Masvingo provinces in Southern Zimbabwe, by the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee (ZNPC).

The ZNPC held an inaugural blind football workshop in Harare in April and have since been distributing blind footballs and eyeshades to institutions with visually impaired students in the capital, as well as in Mashonaland East and Masvingo.

They have now held two blind football workshops in Bulawayo and Masvingo, delivered by International Blind Sports Federation and International Paralympic Committee volunteer Keon Richardson. 

Fifty participants attended the workshops which began with a theoretical session outlining the history and laws of the game, as well as tips on how to coach a person who is visually impaired.

Following this, a practical session saw coaches orientate the other participants around the pitch using the skills they had just learnt. 

They then carried out static and dynamic stretches before participating in group exercises which looked to improve echo location, spatial awareness and communication, as well as passing, controlling and dribbling skills. 

Participants of the blind football workshops learnt skills such as ball control ©IBSA
Participants of the blind football workshops learnt skills such as ball control ©IBSA

The workshops then concluded with the practice of penalties, free-kicks and corners, before a three-a-side game took place.

The participants were presented with a certificate, blind footballs and eye shades to continue the development of the game.

The ZNPC are now preparing to hold a five-day national coaching clinic in April.

"The ZNPC will continue to scale up its sport programmes through promoting and facilitating sporting excellence development to its disability sporting community and helping change the world," said ZNPC President Michael Bulangago.

"We intend to participate in numerous international competitions next year, including the 2019 IBSA Blind Football African Championships in Ivory Coast."