Football (soccer) is soaring in popularity across the country and is becoming a sport of choice for many Australians, young and old. More and more Aussies have been inspired by their football idols, including adults and children who are blind and vision impaired.Until recently, children and adults who are blind or vision impaired were not able to play the world’s most popular sport.  Thanks to the work of Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria (BSRV) and Social Goal, who have been coordinating the project for BSV, the first ever blind football league in Australia for adults will kick off later this year, along with football participation opportunities for children at local football clubs. Victoria is leading the way with blind football in Australia, with these initiatives being the first of their kind in Australia.David Connolly from Social Goal is excited about the launch. He says, “This is the next big thing for Australian sport. Never before have people who are blind or vision impaired been given the opportunity to play football. Now, thanks to these initiatives and partnerships developed in the football community we can give people who are blind or vision impaired the opportunity to play the world’s most popular sport.”The Blind and Vision Impaired AIA Vitality Mini Roos will be expanded to allow for more children to participate. An adult blind football league will also commence in Melbourne, the first of its kind in Australia, mixing sighted and blind and vision impaired participants in a truly inclusive competition. Mr Connolly added, “We are excited about what is ahead for blind football in Victoria.  Through partnerships developed with Football Federation Victoria and Melbourne City Football Club these opportunities will continue to grow and provide opportunities for people of all ages who are blind or vision impaired to enjoy playing the world game.”MEDIA INVITATION – LAUNCH OF BLIND FOOTBALL IN AUSTRALIACome and be part of the launch of Blind Football in Victoria.Media are invited to hear more about these blind football initiatives and discover how the sport is enjoyed by blind and vision impaired footballers.**Photo or interview and filming opportunities can be provided on the day or arranged earlier**WHEN: Wednesday 17th June 12.30pm to 1.30pm (speakers from 12.45pm) WHERE: Library at the Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands BACKGROUND Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria Inc. (BSRV) was established in 1977 is a statewide body providing support services to over one thousand blind and vision impaired people. Their range of sport and recreational activities include Gymnastics, Indoor bias bowls, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Track and field, Ten pin bowling, Snow skiing, Swish, Cricket, Tandem bike riding, Lawn bowls, Square dancing and Walking programs. For more information about Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria please visit www.blindsports.org.au or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blind-Sports-Victoria/105160376173509  Social Goal Inc. is a start-up social enterprise that utilises sport as a tool for social change. Their vision is to increase access and participation rates in sport for disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the community, as well as generating employment opportunities in sport and recreation. Kicking goals for social inclusion and community development. To find out more about Social Goal please visit https://www.facebook.com/SocialGoalAustralia.Article and photo from Social Goal.

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FIRST EVER AUSTRALIAN BLIND FOOTBALL LEAGUE KICKS OFF