Monthly Archives: January 2018

Man behind Blind Cricket World Cup!

Man behind 1st Blind Cricket World Cup

George Abraham conceived and organised the first ever World Cup for blind in 1998 at New Delhi

Meet the Vision Impaired man who organised the first ever Cricket World Cup for the Blind

original post by timesnownews.com

He suffered from meningitis and became visually impaired when he was only 10 months old. Yet, fighting insurmountable odds, George Abraham is today not only living a successful and wholesome life himself, but is also working tirelessly to bring hope to the lives of other visually-impaired people.

After a successful career with India’s top advertising firms Ogilvy & Mather and Advertising & Sales Promotion Company for nearly 10 years, he is now a social entrepreneur, an inspirational speaker and a communicator.

Not only did he work towards changing the popular perception about the visually impaired, but as the Founding Chairman of the World Blind Cricket Council, he also conceived and organised the first World Cup for the Blind in 1998 to not just encourage them to have self-belief but to give wings to their dreams.

George’s life has meaning because his parents refused to see his disability as being bigger than his capabilities. They made a conscious decision to send him to a regular school instead of a special one for blind children so that he could get to know the hard realities of living with blindness in a world of people blessed with vision.

“People suffering from blindness are regarded as ‘pathetic’ by a society with a skewed vision; they are most often denied basic opportunities. Their whole persona is just seen in the light of their blindness and no one even bothers to see them or their potential beyond their disability,” George told IANS.

“Every blind can be potential human resource to the society; so they shouldn’t be just provided for, but must be invested in and empowered so as to enable them to live a dignified life.”

Every fifth blind person in the world is an Indian and 25,000 new cases are added to this population annually.

George gives the whole credit for what he is to his parents and God. George’s father M.G. Abraham was an engineer and architect, and his mother Sushila Abraham was a homemaker.

“Usually, it is not only society which is indifferent towards the blind, but their families too view them as a burden. I was lucky enough to be born to parents who never saw my vision loss as a disability or something that can hamper my journey towards having a successful career and a wholesome life,” he said.

George was quite content with this job, but visiting a school for the blind for the first time in his life in 1988, along with his wife Rupa, proved to a shock. He was shaken to the core by the miserable conditions of the blind people living there and the treatment they were given.

“They were instilled with a mindset of being worthless to society,” he recalls.

A visit to the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun, was another turning point in George’s life. Coming across blind boys playing cricket with great passion, his long-forgotten dream got a fresh lease of life. They used balls that rattled. George, who grew up dreaming of becoming a fast bowler, decided — at that very moment — to organise a national cricket tournament for the blind.

“I realised seeing blind people catching the ball, hitting the ball with their bat and chasing the ball can help break the stereotypical image of a helpless person wearing black glasses with stick in hand, and can create the image of an able and efficient person. Also, this sport can develop life skills like leadership, teamwork, discipline, ambition, strategic thinking — besides, of course, physical fitness and mobility.”

Soon he organised the first national cricket tournament for the blind in December 1990. This became an annual feature. In 1996, he set up the World Blind Cricket Council and was its Founding Chairman. In 1998, he conceived and organised the first ever World Cup in New Delhi.

In 2007-08, he handed over the cricket for the blind to a younger group of people. The national tournaments continue, the World Cup continues to happen and a new T-20 World championship too has been launched.

India won the World Cup in 2014 when it was organised in South Africa and followed it up by winning it again in 2018 — the event was held between January 8 and 20 in Pakistan and the UAE — by beating Pakistan by two wickets. This caught the imagination of the country. Cash awards were given to the players. The 2014 cup-winning captain Shekhar Naik was recognised and given the Padma Shri. George is delighted to see the heights to which the movement has risen. Something that had begun as a tiny idea that he had dreamt of.

“Blindness is not the real problem, it is the mindset of the society and the blind people themselves who are made to believe that they cannot lead normal lives,” says George.

He knows that changing this mindset is an uphill task, but he is committed to do so. He set up Score Foundation and Project Eyeway to change the mindset associated with the potential and capabilities of the visually impaired.

He then conceived a radio programme “Yeh Hai Roshni Ka Karwan” which broadcast success stories of people who fought every hurdle that came in their way due to their blindness and succeeded to achieve their dream.

The programme spoke about people working in different areas like banks, the IT sector and in travel companies. The idea was to use radio to share knowledge and information that was informative, inspirational and empowering.

“People began calling us with their problems and challenges. This led us to establish the Eyeway help desk where counsellors who are blind took the calls. Till date we have addressed over 35,000 queries.”

Eyeway is a one-stop knowledge resource on living life with blindness — it disseminates knowledge, counsels and takes up advocacy.

Using television as a medium to share the message of his mission, he also produced a TV programme “Nazar ya Nazariya”. The actor Naseeruddin Shah — who himself played a blind teacher in the film “Sparsh” — introduced and closed each of the 13 episodes. TV actor Harsh Chhaya anchored the episodes. It featured 32 successful case studies from across India.

The serial endeavoured to communicate the potential and possibilities in a life with blindness and to raise the burning question in the programme’s title: Is the problem with nazar (sight) or nazariya (viewpoint)?

He remains determined to change the existing “nazariya” and create an inclusive society where people don’t separate “them” from “us”.

England T20 Blind World Cup 2017 Results

 

Metro Tennis Doubles -11 Feb!

Metro Doubles Tennis Tournament 11 Feb 2018
Venue:
Islington Tennis Centre, Market road, London, N7 9PL
Time:
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
Phone:
Date:
11th February 2018
Cost:
£5 per player ( to be paid on the day).


METRO DOUBLES TENNIS TOURNAMENT

This is open to current Metro members only, aged 16 and over.

Ladies Doubles & Men’s Doubles & B1 Mixed Doubles
Date: Sunday 11th February 2018 Time: 10:00-18:00
Venue: Islington Tennis Centre, Market road, London, N7 9PL
Entry cost: £5 per player ( to be paid on the day).

Closing Date for entry: Wednesday 24th January 2018.

Download Word entry form here: bit.ly/MBSDoubles2018
Entry forms to be returned to steven.pilcher1@btinternet.com no later than Wednesday 24th January 2018.

London Square logoA big thank you from all at Metro to London Square for their help in supporting the Metro Blind Sport Tennis Doubles Tournament 2018

You can visit the event page here: http://bit.ly/MBS-Doubles-2018

 

Registration: From 09:45 to 10:15.
Play will start promptly at 10:30 until 18:00. We have three courts booked, two will be set up as VI courts, and one set up as a B1 court.

Unfortunately, there will be no time available to play partially sighted mixed doubles.

Registration and presentation of awards will take place in the Gallery and awards will be presented at 18:00 sharp. 
Competition

We are playing doubles only on a round robin basis. We hope to have a programming schedule one week before the tournament starts.

NB: We expect this to be popular so in the event of having to restrict numbers, preference will be given in order of receipt of the entry form.

 

Metro Athletics Open 16 June 2018!

Metro Blind Sport’s Athletics Open 2018
Venue:
Mile End Stadium, Rhodeswell Road, London E14 7TW, Tower Hamlets, East London
Time:
10.00am - 5.00 pm
Phone:
07803 288083
Date:
16th June 2018
Cost:
FREE


Venue: Mile End Stadium, Rhodeswell Road, London E14 7TW, Tower Hamlets, East London.

 Metro Blind Sport are thrilled to announce that this year’s Athletics Open will be held on 16th June 2018 – 10.00am to 5.00pm, incorporating a Come and Try Coaching Session for vision impaired people, their families and friends. Thanks go to London Borough of Tower Hamlets and ‘Better’ for hosting us and for the generous support of Carmen Butler-Charteris Trust, Olympus, Professional UK and the Roden Family Foundation.

The Come and Try Session offers those new to the sport an opportunity to experience running, jumping and throwing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Qualified Coaches will be on hand to advise and guide you, all ages and abilities are very welcome. If you are looking to try a new event or wanting to improve your performance, this is the place for you!

Competition will begin after the Come and Try Session, Events will be held for Under 18’s, Seniors and Veterans. Entry is FREE  plus souvenir T-shirts, medals and certificates,  and catering. Results will be ratified for Power of 10 rankings for classified and non-classified athletes.

Downloads for entry form below:

Thanks go to London Borough of Tower Hamlets and ‘Better’ for hosting us and for the generous support of Carmen Butler-Charteris Trust, Olympus, Professional UK and the Roden Family Foundation.

For further info on the classification process please contact British Blind Sport www.britishblindsport.org.uk or British Athletics (Parallel Success) http://academy.uka.org.uk/parallel-success/classification

 

If you are an experienced guide runner and/or available to volunteer on the day please get in touch.

We look forward to seeing you all on the day, please circulate this press release to all your contacts and friends.

University accommodation is available close to the track; contact us for further details.

Roy Smith (Metro – Director)

Tel. H/W: 020 8255 7788 or M: 07803 288083

 

 

A Great Start to Look Who’s Walking Team’s 50k Peak District Challenge in 2018

Look Who's Walking team photo

My first blog entry of 2018 is about the timed 12-hour Bronze 50k Peak District Challenge, which ELVis and Metro Blind Sport Charity will be undertaking in partnership in September, around the same time as National Eye Health Week 2018. What was I thinking when I agreed to this? Oh wait, I clearly wasn’t thinking before I signed my life away to walking! I don’t sleep walk, but who knows what may happen by September…

Continue reading A Great Start to Look Who’s Walking Team’s 50k Peak District Challenge in 2018