Monthly Archives: October 2019

Visually Impaired Rugby in Japan!

Visually Impaired Rugby in Japan

The image above: Si Ledwith carries against the ‘Blind Blacks’ in 2017, the series that launched VI rugby (QBE)

Visually impaired rugby joins the World Cup party as England face Japan in Kumagaya

original article by  www.rugbyworld.com

Fancy a bit of rugby? Then close your eyes and picture this: the smell of freshly cut grass; the roar of the crowd; running full pelt down the field; the touchline almost in reach; your winger just to your right; the heavy footsteps of the opposing defender bearing down on you.

Now, open just one eye slightly, squint tightly, and try your best to catch that ball hurtling towards you while avoiding that other defender coming at you headlong even faster!

That may give you an inkling of an idea as to what teams playing visually impaired rugby face each time they take to the field. And on Monday, visually impaired (VI) rugby will hit the world stage as part of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

In recent years, The Change Foundation (TCF) in the UK, with its visually impaired coaches and players, has developed VI rugby as a seven-a-side touch version, played with an adapted ball that makes a noise to help players locate it when it’s moving.

In partnership with the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation, TCF established the first VI rugby teams in England and launched the game with a series between the ‘Blind Lions’ and the ‘Blind Blacks’ in New Zealand during the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour.

On 14 October, which is a National Holiday of Sport and Health, the Visually Impaired Rugby Festival will feature a three-match series between England and Japan at Kumagaya Stadium.

England VI team. Top (from left): Si Ledwith, Jack Pearce, Dan Linekar (coach), Ryan Jones, Christopher Styles. Bottom: Gareth Davies, Alex Bassan (head coach), Mathew Lancett (TCF)
Ready to go: the England VI team. Top (from left): Si Ledwith, Jack Pearce, Dan Linekar (coach), Ryan Jones, Christopher Styles. Bottom: Gareth Davies, Alex Bassan (head coach), Mathew Lancett (TCF)

The Change Foundation will also be showcasing VI rugby as part of the Festival of Rugby that is running throughout the World Cup. The finale is a match between a combined Japan and England Visually Impaired team and a Wasps Legends team captained by former England and Lions lock Simon Shaw and including ex-France flanker Serge Betsen.

“I’m delighted to be able to support this brilliant cause by putting the boots on in Japan,” Shaw says. “The Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation have done a great job supporting the development of this new form of the game. It’s brilliant that the rugby family is reaching out to players who up to now thought they could never play our great game.”

The England VI team includes a Welshman, Gareth Davies, who was diagnosed in his teens with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that causes tunnel vision. He now has just 10% vision in his left eye. “I was born in Wiltshire but my dad Dwyfor is a Welsh speaker from Ystalyfera and my late mum was from Clydach and I’ve lived in Wales for more than 20 years,” he told the BBC last year.

Also in the team is Si Ledwith, who was instrumental in creating the sport, as Rugby World reported two years ago. He told us then: “Our overall goal was to make the game look and feel as much like mainstream rugby as possible whilst still being accessible. So we have scrums and lineouts but they’re uncontested. We still create the patterns and scenarios of rugby but take away some of the danger.

“We’ve not reinvented the wheel. It’s based around rugby sevens, two-handed touch, but we’ve developed a ball that has some sound, both in hand when running and in the air when passed. We simply filled it with a thousand ball bearings so that it rattles.”

New Zealand’s Cory Herberley in action.
Blind ambition: New Zealand’s Cory Herberley in action. Now VI rugby will be played in Japan (QBE)

to play rugby at school on account of his visual impairment – he was born blind in his left eye and very short-sighted in his right. His sight was restricted still further by an accident on the cricket field in 2015, the ball hitting him in the eye and causing a brain haemorrhage that rendered him totally blind for two weeks.

“Fortunately the blood drained away but I can’t see anywhere near what I used to. I’m one of the lowest-sighted in the team and I was on the left wing because I can only see out of my right eye. You might have one of the tunnel-vision guys slightly wider so he can look across the line and communicate to those who aren’t seeing the line as well. It’s an interesting dynamic and the referee is key because he’s kind of a commentator.”

VI rugby ambassadors Andy Robinson and Ian McKinley have helped prepare the team for Japan. Robinson’s father was blind and had matches audio described while McKinley lost an eye following injury in 2011 but went on to play for Benetton and Italy. McKinley plans to take the field at TCF’s showcase event in 2020, the VI Rugby Six Nations demonstration event.

Throughout next year, TCF will work with each of the Six Nations teams to develop the sport in their countries. In England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, TCF will work with the home unions to select a ‘Blind Lions’ team to travel to South Africa to play the ‘Blind Boks’ during the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour.

 

Photography Last-minute place!

Photography with VICTA - Last-minute place is available

A Last-minute place is available!

Try photography with VICTA and the London Institute of Photography

Join VICTA and the London Institute of Photography (LIoP) in trendy Brick Lane, East London, an area now extremely popular with London’s edgy and artistic crowd, to learn how to take stunningly creative photographs in your own signature style.

Who: 18 to 29 years
When: 6 to 10 November 2019
Location: Brick Lane, London and Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes
Cost: £100

Please apply ASAP if you would like to join us!

Find out more and apply

During the day you will be inspired by professional photographers to explore the key elements of lighting, composition and styling. You’ll learn how to create a series of photographs inspired by the constantly changing street art at Brick Lane, as well as conducting your own still life shoot on location in the studio – The Old Truman Brewery. The second stage of the course will take you through the process of post-production and how to make your photos print ready.

When not immersed in the camera you will explore the culture and atmosphere that London has to offer. From its many tourist sights to cutting edge art galleries, restaurants and bars.

On Saturday, we will leave the city to head to Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes, for VICTA’s annual firework party! The activity will end Sunday morning at Caldecotte Lake.

Within the cost of the course you will take home a 1m by 2m printed banner displaying your fabulous photos. Plus, you will gain the Arts Award Explore qualification – an entry level 3 award.

All participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the meeting points at the start and end of the trip.

Find out more and apply

 

Ireland VI Tennis 9 -10 Nov

Ireland VI Tennis Tournament 9 -10 Nov
Venue:
Shankill Tennis Club,Quinn’s Road, Shankill, Co Dublin
Time:
2.00 pm - 5. 00pm
Phone:
086 351 4123
Date:
09th November 2019
Cost:
Call contact to Confirm


Tennis Tournament in Ireland!

On November 9th and 10th they will be running an event in Shankill Tennis Club. The event will run over 2 days with an optional training session on Saturday for all adults from 5-7pm.

The tournament on Sunday will run from 9-3pm. There will also be a junior event on Sunday from 2-5pm.

For those that are travelling they can help with transfers from the airport and a contribution towards accommodation, which they can help to organise. Juniors will need a chaperone!

On the weekend itself they will also organise transport to and from your hotel for those staying.  All are welcome so please spread the word. The event will be competitive but the emphasis will be on taking part and playing as many matches as possible!

If you would like to take part please email Olwyn with the following info:

  1. Will you be attending the training session on Saturday 9th?
  2. Will you be attending the tournament on Sunday 10th?
  3. Do you need accommodation?
    1. If yes, do you have a fellow athlete you can share with?
    2. If yes, do you have a family member/partner/friend you would like to share with you?
    3. Any special requirements for the hotel – will you be bringing guide dogs?
  4. How do you intend to get to Shankill – do we need to organise lifts to and from train stations/airport etc?

Contact:  olwyn.rdo@TennisIreland.ie    P: 086 351 4123
 Olwyn O’Toole   Connacht Regional Development Officer
W: www.tennisireland.ie   F: facebook/tennisireland T: @Tennis_Ireland

 

Photography Last-minute place!

Photography with VICTA - Last-minute place is available
Venue:
Brick Lane, London and Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes
Time:
TBC - Please apply ASAP if you would like to join us!
Phone:
01908 240 831
Date:
06th October 2019
Cost:
£100


A Last-minute place is available!

Try photography with VICTA and the London Institute of Photography

Join VICTA and the London Institute of Photography (LIoP) in trendy Brick Lane, East London, an area now extremely popular with London’s edgy and artistic crowd, to learn how to take stunningly creative photographs in your own signature style.

Who: 18 to 29 years
When: 6 to 10 November 2019
Location: Brick Lane, London and Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes
Cost: £100

Please apply ASAP if you would like to join us!

Find out more and apply

During the day you will be inspired by professional photographers to explore the key elements of lighting, composition and styling. You’ll learn how to create a series of photographs inspired by the constantly changing street art at Brick Lane, as well as conducting your own still life shoot on location in the studio – The Old Truman Brewery. The second stage of the course will take you through the process of post-production and how to make your photos print ready.

When not immersed in the camera you will explore the culture and atmosphere that London has to offer. From its many tourist sights to cutting edge art galleries, restaurants and bars.

On Saturday, we will leave the city to head to Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes, for VICTA’s annual firework party! The activity will end Sunday morning at Caldecotte Lake.

Within the cost of the course you will take home a 1m by 2m printed banner displaying your fabulous photos. Plus, you will gain the Arts Award Explore qualification – an entry level 3 award.

All participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the meeting points at the start and end of the trip.

Find out more and apply

 

Night of Horrors: MertonVision

Night of Horrors with MertonVision - The Omen with Audio Description

Night of Horrors with MertonVision!

Calling all Working Age Ghouls! Join us at the Guardian Centre for our Night Of Horrors event on Friday 1st November! Spooky entertainment will be on offer and we will be watching The Omen (2006) with audio description! There will be plenty of delicious snack food and pizza, and MertonVision’s Cane & Able bar will also be open!

Date: 1st November  Time: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Venue: MertonVision, The Guardian Centre, 67 Clarendon Road, Colliers Wood SW10 2DX
If you would like to attend this event, please contact Chloe Smith
Email: Chloe.Smith@mertonvision.org.uk
Phone: 07562011046 or 02085405446

We will be gathering at MertonVision at 6:30 pm and making our way out into the night at 10:30 pm.  If you feel like wearing a spooky costume, go for it as we will be awarding a prize for the best costume!

Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements and if you would like to be guided from Colliers Wood tube station.

Not into Halloween? No problem! Come along for good fun and good food – all the activities will be optional.

You are welcome to bring friends and family if you wish.

About The Omen

Remake of Richard Donner’s 1976 horror classic. Katherine (Julia Stiles) and Robert (Liev Schreiber) Thorn are as loving parents as any young boy could ask for, but as fate would have it, their new son Damien is far from the typical child. Now, as the mysterious boy’s growth begins to share frightening parallels with the Biblical passages detailing the rise of the Antichrist, and the lives of all who seek to reveal his true nature are cut gruesomely short, Robert and Katherine are forced to face the horrifying prospect that their child has been sent from Satan to hasten the fall of modern civilisation.