Visually impaired canoeing and kayaking in east London

Photo of the Kayaks in the Shadwell Basin, a sheltered body of flat water next to the River Thames in East London

Visually impaired canoeing and kayaking in east London

Tower Hamlets Canoe Club is starting a canoeing and kayaking program for blind and partially sighted people in March 2022 and is looking for participants. Sessions will be free and held on Tuesday evenings at Shadwell Basin, a sheltered body of flat water next to the River Thames in East London.

You will have the opportunity to develop your paddling skills in a boat steered and navigated by a sighted coach or assistant. You will be taught how to steer the boat yourself and maybe even progress to paddling a boat on your own. Help with navigating will still be provided by coaches, plus perhaps some audio technology. Sessions will be based around your particular needs so that you can learn and develop at your own pace.

The coaches are all trained in first aid and safety and rescue techniques. They also have visual awareness training.

Visually Impaired Canoeing and Kayaking Details

Starting from March 2022

Date Tuesdays  Time: 7 pm to 9 pm
Venue: Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, 3-4 Shadwell Pierhead, Glamis Road, London E1W 3TD.
Transport. Bus: 100, 15 and D3. Train: Overground and Shadwell DLR station.
Cost: Currently FREE

Contact:
If interested, please call Alex on 07724936602 or 0208 2930318. He will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Or email committee@towerhamletscanoeclub.co.uk.

More info:  https://towerhamletscanoeclub.co.uk/wiki/THCC

 

There will be opportunities to go on trips to other waterways in and around London in a group of other more experienced people.

Sessions are held at the same time as our regular club sessions so you will get to meet lots of other club members. If you want to, you can go for drinks with them afterwards and attend monthly barbecues and other events.

Canoe and kayak in the Basin at night - taking part in Dark Polo
Kayaks in the Basin at night – taking part in Dark Polo

All boating equipment will be provided, including boats, paddles, lifejackets and other useful items. You may get a little bit wet as the sessions are all outdoors but you won’t initially be going into the water. Sessions, where you do go fully into the water, can be provided as the program develops and the weather and water get warmer.

If interested, please call Alex on 07724936602 or 0208 2930318. He will be happy to answer any questions you have. Or email committee@towerhamletscanoeclub.co.uk.

  • We have male and female changing rooms with showers, plus lockers for your belongings.
  • You should be at least 18 years old and in good physical health.
  • Help to get you from Shadwell DLR station to Shadwell Basin can be provided. It’s only a 10-minute walk.
  • For those who may be accompanied by a driver to the sessions, there is parking available onsite.
  • For those who may be accompanied by a driver to the sessions, there is parking available onsite.

 

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Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week: 02 – 09 July 2022!

Photo of a sailing yacht on the sea with the text : VI sailors week - blind week 02 – 09 July 2022 – Lymington
Venue:
Royal Lymington clubhouse
Time:
Actual Event date 2 - 9 July 2022 -
Phone:
Date:
08th April 2022
Cost:
TBC - to know more please email the contact


Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week – Blind Week 2022

Event Date: 02 – 09 July – Lymington

Applications need to be received by Friday 08 April 2022

 

With fingers crossed, that when the current Omicron wave finally passes, so will the worst effects of the pandemic, we are writing with a warm invitation for you to participate in the coming year’s restarted event.

Our 2022 sailing week will be Solent-based and hosted once again by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.  Of course, Blind Week will be subject to any Covid regulations, laws and conditions that are current at the time of the event, but with the high vaccine and testing levels now achieved, and seven months to go, we are optimistic that the event will happen – keeping everything crossed naturally!

Participants will gather during the afternoon of Saturday 02 July and we start the week with an opening dinner at the lovely Royal Lymington clubhouse that evening.

Having sailed to a variety of locations around the Solent and beyond during the week, the yachts and their crews will re-convene at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club for the closing dinner on the evening of Friday 08 July.  The event will then end on the morning of Saturday 09 July when crews will disembark their yachts and return home.

The event will again be facilitated through the Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust.

If you are visually impaired and would like to apply for a place to crew on a yacht for the week please fill in your responses to the questions below and reply to this email as soon as possible – at the latest by Friday 08 April 2022.

To avoid crossed wires, please be sure to reply to this email, even if you have previously indicated to us that you would like to participate in Blind Week 2022.

Whilst we are very aware of the need to keep costs under tight control we are, nevertheless, conscious of the fact that prices have risen significantly since our last event three years ago. Despite this we are keeping the VI participant’s fee for the 2022 event to £260.  However, applicants will be pleased to learn that should Blind Week be cancelled then the VI fee for a place on Blind Week will be fully refundable.

If you haven’t participated in Blind Week before, please read the document ‘What’s it all About?’ – a description by regular VI participants which actually follows on from this letter (as we’ve been told that email attachments can sometimes be a headache!)

We should emphasise that you really do not need any prior sailing experience to participate in and really enjoy Blind Week!  Complete beginners and newcomers are just as warmly welcomed as experienced VI sailors whose skills have been developed over many sea miles.  If you know of any visually impaired person who may not be aware of the event, but might also like to come along, or any friend who doesn’t appear to have received this email, please do ask them to contact us

 The RYA’s video of the event  below

 

Please note that Blind Week only caters for applicants over 18 years old.  In addition, the sailing yachts used are not specially equipped or adapted to cater for physical disabilities, and therefore the event requires moderate agility by all the crew, including all VI participants.  This agility requirement is set out in the ‘What’s It All About’ document, Section 4, and we ask all applicants to confirm that they meet it.

At this early planning stage, it is impossible to offer firm places until we know the availability of boats.  So, while we will quickly acknowledge receipt of your application, we will only be able to confirm your place and your provisional yacht allocation at the end of April.

We very much look forward to hearing from you!

 

If you would like to take part in the event

Please fill in the below downloadable Form below and fully read the  what it is all about section

Blind Week – VI APPLICANT 2022 Form – word Format

and send the form to this email address mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

Applications need to be received by Friday 08 April 2022

We will quickly acknowledge receipt of your application, but please note that the firm offer of a place and allocations to yachts will not be made until the end of April. 

 

Once again – our best wishes for 2022… a year in which we hope you’ll spend some of your time on the water, sailing with us!

 

Will Bridge Blind Week Co-ordinator   & Rosie Shorman Blind Week Co-ordinator

Visually Impaired Sailors’ Week – Blind Week

Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust:  Charity no. 1044893

31 Pacific Close

Southampton SO14 3TX

mail@blindweeksailing.co.uk

 

 

 

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Job: Sport Development Officer Role available!

Image Banner of the Metro blind sport logo in a spotlight on a stage with red curtains behind it with the text saying Current Role Sport Development Officer

 

Would you like to be Metro’s Sport Development Officer?

Would you like to be a part of the Metro Blind Sport team as our Sport Development Officer? Help us deliver sport 🎾🏏⚽🏐 and events for visually impaired people across Greater London!

This role’s purpose is to develop and implement a sports programme, increasing the range, quality, and local availability of sporting opportunities for visually impaired people across Greater London.

 

To apply

The full role description is below or you can download the role description here:  SDO Role description

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, please complete and return:

Please send these documents to: applications@pocklington-trust.org.uk
If you have any questions about the role, please send these by email to the same email address and we will reply as soon as possible.

We require all applicants to have the appropriate right to work in the UK.

 

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Title:                               Sport Development Officer

Responsible to:                  Metro CEO

Salary:                                    Competitive

Location:  Primarily working across the Greater London area, utilising office space at the Pocklington Hub in Euston and with opportunities to work from home.

 Contract / Hours: Permanent contract – 36 PW worked flexibly including some evenings and weekends.

Purpose:  To develop and implement a sports programme, increasing the range, quality and local availability of sporting opportunities for visually impaired people across Greater London.

 

Key duties

  • Supporting established core sports (Archery, Athletics, Bowls, Cricket, Football and Tennis) by:
  • Having an overview of the work of the voluntary sport leads and provide support on an ongoing basis.
  • Liaising with members and helping plan and organise activities to enhance the core sports and act as a link to each sport’s sub-committee.
  • Constantly seek new ways to increase membership and then be a welcoming presence to newcomers, introducing them to the sport leads and ensure a ‘meet & greet’ at local stations is offered as appropriate.
  • Playing a lead role in coordinating major events where Metro is a key stakeholder, such as the annual National Athletics Championships and Metro Tennis Tournaments.
  • Establishing links with local charities/support groups within the sight loss sector across London with a view to identifying potential new members and partnership working.
  • Assisting with recruiting, training and evaluation of coaches and volunteers.

 

  • Creating new opportunities by:
  • Identifying and developing potential new sport and fitness activities, creating new subcommittees where appropriate.
  • Support the CEO to proactively work with local agencies, in and outside the sight loss sector to develop more localised partnerships and attempt a more even distribution of opportunities across Greater London.
  • Seek to increase Metro membership generally through a programme of promotional and networking activity devised with the CEO.
  • Support the team with grant applications, using a strategic approach to highlight where funds are most required.
  • Provide coaching support within specific sports (including identifying suitable coaching qualifications should members express interest).
  • With the Web Manager, ensure information is distributed to members and significant others, including newsletters, website and social media updates.
  • Be a positive role model to maintain Metro’s long-standing good reputation, ensuring the values and objectives of Metro are understood and respected by all stakeholders.
  • Utilize reports and record-keeping systems, agreed with the CEO, to plot progress against strategic objectives.
  • Promote health and safety at all events and carry out or update risk assessments. These are to be logged and approved.
  • Ensure that coaches/volunteers have up to date DBS checks, qualifications and ensure that a system for renewal is in place and acted upon.
  • Be willing to be trained in and to deliver Visual Impairment Awareness training where necessary.
  • Participate in training and regular supervision meetings as directed.
  • Undertake any other duties as may reasonably be required from time to time. This will include attending the Metro AGM and providing assistance to any members requiring it on the day.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Knowledge – Essential

  • Understanding the challenges of participation in sports focussing on visually impaired people
  • The issues and obstacles surrounding general sports development

Knowledge – Desirable

  • Knowledge of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
  • Relevant qualification in Sports Science or Leisure
  • A relevant National Governing Body Level 2 coaching award

Skills – Essential

  • Ability to self-start, motivate and inspire others
  • Ability to analyse needs, identify opportunities and develop projects adhering to individual strategies and the wider Metro business plan
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, adaptability to Metro’s diverse audiences, and a commitment to providing information in accessible formats
  • Excellent administrative skills, including record keeping and the ability to use the Microsoft Office Suite to intermediate level at least.
  • The ability to work effectively as a team member
  • Ability to work from home including excellent time management skills and self-motivation

Skills – Desirable

  • Ability to represent Metro across different events and diverse audiences
  • Posting engaging content on social media
  • Completing fundraising applications

Experience – Essential

  • Development and leadership of sports-related projects
  • Working with competing priorities

Experience – Desirable

  • Working with children and/or adults with disabilities
  • Helping to run events

Special Requirements

  • Willingness to work flexibly, including evenings and weekends
  • Ability to regularly travel across Greater London and occasionally further afield.

Enhanced DBS check (to be initiated by the Thomas Pocklington Trust).

 

disability confident employer logo
disability confident employer logo

This role will be seconded from Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT). TPT  is a charity established to provide services for visually impaired people: our mission is to improve the lives of people living with sight loss.

TPT is registered with the Disability Confident Scheme as a Disability Confident Committed employer. Therefore, we believe in treating all employees fairly and we are committed to recruiting equally. TPT’s charitable objective and the aim is to support visually impaired individuals back into work. For this reason, we are actively seeking applications from all backgrounds including disabled/visually impaired individuals and people who have lived experience of sight loss.  We also guarantee all disabled applicants that reach the minimum appointment criteria an interview. We are happy to accept applications from all suitably qualified persons who have the appropriate skills and talent regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.

 

To apply

Download the full role description here:  SDO Role description

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, please complete and return:

Please send these documents to: applications@pocklington-trust.org.uk

If you have any questions about the role, please send these by email to the same email address and we will reply as soon as possible.

We require all applicants to have the appropriate right to work in the UK.

 

 

 

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Roy Smith MBE visits the Teddington Beavers!

Group Photo of the Teddington Beavers With Roy Smith MBE who is holding his olympic torch!

Roy Smith MBE visits the Teddington Beavers!

“Samuel loved the evening, but I think the thing that really engaged him was hearing about what Roy had achieved and then seeing Roy with his cane, Samuel also uses a cane, and I think this made the point that he can engage with sport in whatever way he can”    

Roy smith MBE, ex-Paralympian and Metro blind sport vice president, visited the first-ever Teddington Beaver meeting and shared some blind and partially sighted adapted sports and activities with them.

The evening went well, and Roy really engaged with the Beavers. He was also very open about his vision impairment. He told them not just about how this affected him playing sport but also in daily life.

They got to see some of the everyday challenges that someone living with sight loss faces, such as getting out and about. Roy showed his cane and how it helps him get out and avoid obstacles.

The beavers also saw how simple things like knowing when someone is talking to you are entirely different for someone living with sight loss.

They also played a game in which they were blindfolded, and this showed them how much you rely on your sight and how much not seeing affects fundamental things, like your sense of direction, and they especially liked getting their photo taken with the Olympic torch.

The evening provided an engaging opportunity to highlight blind and partially sighted sport and helped the beavers understand the challenges an athlete with sight loss faces.

Roy demonstrated how you could achieve anything you want regardless of the barriers you face, which is a really positive message for young people. As well as this, the evening was an enjoyable and inspiring one, and I’d definitely recommend it!

 

“Samuel enjoyed the evening and meeting, Roy. He hasn’t stopped talking about the visit. Whilst he listened and took it all in, what helped Samuel was hearing about Roy’s cane.

Samuel afterwards said, ‘Roy had a cane just like me,’ and he took a lot of positives from that as he saw a positive role model who, despite the challenges of sight loss, had achieved so much and relied on a cane just like Samuel.

Samuel has always liked sport, but now he’s keen to get involved and is looking forward to getting out with his new running VI and Guide Top!

The beavers all went away talking about the evening to their parents!

Roy is a real inspiration to everyone!”

 

Article by Ed Wilson

 

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Mother & Daughter Climbing Experience at Westway!

Photo of Mother & Daughter smiling on tha sofa - text says Four reasons to Try Climbing  by Mel and Isla

Four reasons to Try Climbing  by Mel and Isla

“Learning how to prepare our ropes and assist one another on the climb was an unexpected bonus, and it was an amazing feeling to help my daughter up and down the wall and hear her little squeals of delight.” –  Mel

 

One:  Great Parent and Child activity!

The climbing offered my ten-year-old daughter and me a rare chance to enjoy physical activity together. Although I’ve never found my VI to be a barrier to being active and trying out different individual sports, it’s felt challenging to find something that I can do confidently with my children.

This started to frustrate both of us, so I was really excited when I found out about the climbing walls at Westway. The reality surpassed our expectations.

It was a fantastic feeling to scale the top of the wall and discover that something as technical as rope climbing is totally possible for me with a little support.

Learning how to prepare our ropes and assist one another on the climb was an unexpected bonus, and it was an amazing feeling to help my daughter up and down the wall and hear her little squeals of delight.

 

Two:  Accessible Walls

For me, the walls were pretty accessible, though it was almost impossible to distinguish between the different colour-coded footholds. As I’m quite small and light, I was able to bluff my way up the wall by grabbing whatever felt strategic.

So, I imagine if someone were coming to try this out with no sight at all but had a good level of fitness and flexibility, it would be a very rewarding experience.

 

Three:  Our Instructor

Our instructor Manuel was super friendly and professional throughout our session. He clearly had lots of experience working with VI people and took the time to find out what approach would work best for me.

He didn’t make any assumptions about what I could and couldn’t see, which is so often an issue in new situations like this. We were treated like regular beginners; he made it fun while ensuring our safety at every step.

 

Four:  Safe Facilities,  No Pressure and Guided by Professionals

It’s a brilliant opportunity to try out an activity that’s quite technical in nature, under the instruction of professionals who are passionate about their sport. There is no pressure to reach the top of the wall, but that’s probably exactly where you’ll want to be after a few attempts.

It’s totally safe, so once you’ve got the harness on and listened to some clear instructions, you’re free to explore the wall at your own pace and enjoy the challenge of rope climbing in one of the UK’s best facilities.

article by Mel and Isla

 

 Want to try blind and partially sighted Climbing

  • Time: 10:30 am to 12 pm
  • Venue: Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, 1 Crowthorne Rd, London W10 6RP.
  • Cost:  Currently FREE

They will be on the following days:

 

 

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