Vision Australia and Blind Sports Australia are thrilled to announce their support for the largest ever Australian Team of blind and low vision athletes participating in the 2023 International Blind Sporting Federation (IBSA) World Blind Games.
The IBSA World Blind Games, held once every four years, makes its much-anticipated return after an eight -year hiatus.
This year’s Games, taking place from 18th to 27th August in Birmingham, will be the largest event of its kind to date, with an expected 1700 competitors representing 70 nations across eleven blind sports.
“This is set to be the largest IBSA World Blind Games ever, and we are delighted to support Australia’s largest ever contingent of ninety athletes and coaches participating in six sports, along with a dedicated physiotherapist provided by Vision Australia, ” said Matt Clayton, CEO of Blind Sports Australia and Chef De Mission for the Australian Team.
“This demonstrates the remarkable growth and interest in blind and vision impaired sport across the country, particularly in such sports as Blind Cricket where we have our first women’s Blind Cricket team competing, and a large number of players in the first Blind and Low Vision Tennis team at an IBSA games.
As a blind cricketer himself, Michael Linke, General Manager of Commercial Services at Vision Australia, also expressed his delight in witnessing the growth and achievements of blind and low vision athletes on the international stage.
“It’s fabulous to see Blind Cricket included for the first time at the IBSA World Blind Games and inspiring to see such talented athletes from many different sports showcasing their determination, skill, and passion,” said Linke.
“At Vision Australia, we firmly believe that with the right support, individuals who are blind and low vision can accomplish extraordinary feats and inspire others to achieve greatness.
“Vision Australia’s mission is to support people who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose and the Australian athletes heading to Birmingham are a great example of that. ”
Australian athletes will showcase their talents in six sports – Goalball, Judo, Tennis, Cricket, Archery, and Powerlifting. For the first time, Blind Cricket, Blind and Low vision Tennis and Archery will be included in these Games.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to fulfil their dream of competing on the world stage in sports that aren’t necessarily featured in the Paralympics, like Blind Tennis and Blind Cricket,” continued Matt Clayton,
“The 2023 Games do hold specific weight and significance for some sports, as Australian athletes in Goalball and Judo strive for selection to the upcoming Paris Paralympics.”
In a demonstration of Vision Australia’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and supporting blind and low vision athletes, the organisation is sponsoring a physiotherapist who will be based in the Games Village, offering essential care and assistance to the Australian Team throughout the event.
Blind Sports Australia, the National Sporting Organisation for blind and vision-impaired sport, is playing a pivotal role in leading the Australian Team through its Chef de Mission, Matt Clayton, who also serves as the CEO of Blind Sports Australia. Matt and his team will provide on-site support to the Australian Team throughout the Games.