Camp for kids with vision impairment comes to Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Camp for kids with vision impairment comes to Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

For some, baseball and kickball are challenging but what about playing blindfolded?

Twelve year-old Kendall Newson is at camp like every other kid during the summer; but, "Camp Abilities" is not your average sports camp.

"They have a range of vision, mostly partially sighted, but we also play with kids who are totally blind," organizer Judy Byrd said.

"Camp Abilities" was created specifically for kids with vision impairment.

"It's really fun, because I'm making new friends. Plus, you get stronger and agility," participant Kendall Newson said.

The "Georgia Blind Sports Association" teamed up with Columbus State University to offer the free camp to visually impaired people all over Georgia.

"We're trying to get every kid, teenager, young adult, and senior in Georgia exposed to sports so they too can share the benefits," said Byrd.

The benefits seemed instant as the kids bonded over a cool game that organizers say was once created to help rehabilitate war veterans.

The name of the game is "Goalball". It's a combination of Dogeball, in reverse and bowling; when you hear the ball coming towards you, you want to get hit.

"[You want to get hit] because if you don't, it goes into your net. It's a pretty competitive sport the ball at my level travels about fifty miles an hour," said volunteer coach Joma Leonard.

There's one more catch, every player wears a blindfold to even the playing field.

"Goalball" is one of three sports the kids will learn to play including, 'Beep Baseball' and 'Beep Kickball', where a beeping ball is used in place of a regular ball.

Although the other games are fun, Kendall says he wants to continue playing "Goalball' 

"I need to practice every day and try my hardest. If I come here next summer, I can do it again. I will keep coming and one day I will go join the league," said Kendall.

"We like him a lot. So, if he's interested he can definitely come up and play with us anytime," said Leonard.

Camp organizers are hoping to expand the program next summer. To get more information about the camps, contact the organizers.

 

Hal Simpson(706) 833-2061

Judy Byrd (706)317-2035

 

They also haveseveral websites:

www.NBBA.org

www.BeepKickball.com

www.USABA.org

 

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