The Bina Foundation, a non-governmental organization for People with Special Needs, said at the weekend that participation in blind football would empower and improve the livelihood of visually impaired persons in the country.
Founder of the Foundation, Mrs. Ifeoma Atuegwu said at the grand finale of the first-ever Female Blind Football Tournament in Nigeria that the game among visually impaired athletes would promote teamwork.
The football final was the highlight of the Foundation’s Disability and Blind Football Academy’s six-week free summer camp for disabled and visually impaired young men and women in Enugu.
The 60-minute final, which was played with a “talking ball’, was between Sunshine Ladies’ Blind FC of Enugu State and Diamond Ladies’ Blind FC of Anambra State.
Atuegwu said that the foundation, which currently has the first female blind football team in Africa, had officially joined some countries like Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Canada in women’s blind football.
She said: “As blind football is a globally renowned sport which is played at the Paralympics, Bina Foundation has opened opportunities for those interested to participate in the national and international competitions. And possibly win laurels for their clubs and the country, and showcase their skills and ability in disability.
“We are aware of the enormous benefits of playing blind football for both men and women. For this reason, the development of the game in Nigeria has become a top priority for our organization. The Foundation is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that blind football is the leading sports played by young visually impaired men and women in Nigeria.’’
Also speaking at the event, Grand Patron of the Foundation and Archbishop of Enugu Province (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, urged the athletes not to limit themselves as they have opportunities in playing in international tournaments soon.
He thanked the foundation for the vision of making the visually impaired international stars as well as assuring them of a great future and empowerment ahead.
In the final, Diamond Ladies’ Blind FC of Anambra State defeated Enugu’s Sunshine Ladies’ by 1– 0.