On a gloomy Friday afternoon in Cardiff, the December STORM event came to pass. In a meeting room at the WCB office, the attendees gathered around a table laden with Christmas treats. The topic for this festive edition of STORM: VI Sport. An appropriate theme for potential New Years resolutions.
Joining the regulars this month, we had two special guest speakers; Chris George who runs VI tennis and Jane McCann from Sight Life. They led the discussion surrounding the mechanisms, intricacies and also accessibility elements of several sports.
Chris introduced the group to VI tennis, explaining how it works and the categorization of the sport. For example, Chris explained that someone who fitted in to the category of a player with either little to no sight would be categorized as B1. The categories determine the number of bounces the players are allowed to have. For instance, in B1, the ball would be allowed to bounce a maximum of 3 times. Alongside this, Chris described the ball itself. It’s a sponge ball with a rattle in it. As a result, the sport has to be played on an indoor court. For those of us who had never heard of VI tennis, it was incredibly helpful to understand the mechanisms and intricacies of the sport.
The other discussion during the meeting was a more general conversation about VI sport led by Jane McCann. Introducing the other sporting clubs available in and around the Cardiff area we heard about VI Rugby, which was quite a hot topic as a few of the group attended the weekly sessions. These sessions are run by the Cardiff Blues Community Foundation. Based in the Arms Parks, many of those that participated said that the accessible location made it a lot easier to attend training. Jane also spoke about the potential prospect of a Ju-Jitsu taster session in the New Year… what this space.
Transport and getting to venues became quite a substantial topic regarding accessing sport. A discussion around how to ensure coaching staff receives adequate training could be implemented. A possible suggestion was that coaching staff from various sports attended a session of another VI sport, there would be an opportunity to share knowledge and skills. But there would also be greater awareness of other sports that are doing on.
Once all the mince pies and Christmas cupcakes had been demolished, and the teas had been drunk. To conclude the meeting, there is a real appetite from those in the group to participate in sport.
Our next Cardiff STORM event will be held at Bigmoose Coffee Co on the 16th January,