Let’s get active event helps make sport accessible in York

Blind and partially sighted people tried out new sports at our ‘Let’s get active’ taster day in York on 20 August. As a result, many plan to continue their sport and even help set up new teams.

The ‘Let’s get active’ multi-sport taster event was organised by York Sight Loss Council, in partnership with My Sight York and Wilberforce Trust.

During the day, experienced and qualified sports coaches and leaders delivered a range of activities. This included visually impaired (VI) football, tennis, cricket, swimming, tandem cycling, judo, tai chi, kick boxing, goalball, gym, boccia and chair aerobics. There was also a selection of stalls promoting a range of activities, including VI sailing and rambling.


Attendees standing on a tennis court, holding tennis rackets, listening to the coach.

Attendees taking part in a VI tennis lesson on court.


Feedback from delegates was excellent, with many people saying they would like to continue to take part in sports and that more people should be given a chance to see what they can do.

Interest generated at the event has resulted in post-event plans for a York tennis club to be set up, new cricketers planning to join Yorkshire’s Cricket Club, and new tandem cycle riders. Others also reported they would like to return to swimming after a long break and continue their sport.

Lydia Wrightson, Ladies B4 Single Champion at the National VI Tennis Championships and a supporter coach at the event, said:

“It’s been great to promote VI Tennis. I definitely think today is going to get people involved and into sport. We’ve had so many people turn up today it has been amazing. This includes 22 people for the tennis session so far alone which is just fabulous.

“We’ve also had four people who’ve expressed an interest in working with us to set up a new VI Tennis team in York which is great. It will be good to get something off the ground and great to help get York active with more inclusive opportunities”.


Image shows an attendee standing with a tennis coach, racket in hand. The coach is holding tennis balls in one hand, his other arm raised. The attendee is laughing,

An attendee with one of the tennis coaches.


Sight Loss Council member Simon Sharpe (left) with Ian Sidaway, Head Coach and Knottingley Judo Club (right), stood side-by-side before starting a judo session.

Sight Loss Council member Simon Sharpe (left) with Ian Sidaway, Head Coach and Knottingley Judo Club (right).

Delegate Feedback

Many people taking part reported how they enjoyed the day and want to continue their sports. Here is just a small selection of feedback.

Teddy, aged six, tried judo, kick boxing and tandem riding, to name but a few. His mum, Rachel, explained that the event was a brilliant opportunity.

“Today has been brilliant for us. As far as I know, there are no VI sports groups in the area Teddy can get involved in. Sport is essential for children and for leading a healthy lifestyle and it has been fantastic for Teddy to be able to experience them.”


Image shows young bout Teddy, standing at a bicycles handlebars. Tandem coach Lizzie is standing behind him.

Teddy and tandem coach Lizzie, standing with a tandem bicycle.


Janet, a BPS participant who tried boccia and swimming, said:

“I might start to go swimming again after today. I used to do aqua aerobics many years ago but stopped during the lockdown. Now, after today, I want to take it back up”.


Pearl, a BPS delegate whose sports also included boccia and thai chi, added:

“I really enjoyed this event and hope it shows people who may take part what they really can do regarding exercises. There is something for everyone here”.


Image taken from behind two ladies participating in the chair aerobics session. They are holding a fitness ball out in front of them.

Attendees participating in the Chair Aerobics session.

Linda said:

“I love it. I’ve not done this sport [boccia] before and may enquire about continuing to take it up independently. I hope today encourages lots of people to get involved in sport.”


Judy added:

“People need to be given a chance and have the opportunity to see what they can do.”


Interested in joining York Sight Loss Council?

Are you blind or partially sighted, and interested in joining the Sight Loss Council to help create positive change for others?

Visit our York Sight Loss Council page to learn more:


Publication date: 07 September 2022

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