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Soccer Sight Goes Digital At Windsor Park

Wed 20th Mar 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Carl Frampton the new European Super-bantamweight Champion and ardent Northern Ireland supporter officially launched the Irish FA / RNIB Soccer Sight Digital initiative.

The Soccer Sight initiative put in place at Windsor Park has allowed many blind and partially sighted people to follow matches through audio description. This has enabled spectators with sight loss to enjoy the internationals and domestic matches in a whole new way.

Soccer Sight Digital is a football access project designed to improve access to football at all levels for blind and partially sighted people.  The new digital equipment is funded by the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

Soccer Sight is a form of audio description commentary. It helps give blind and partially sighted people a fuller experience, when attending international football matches. It differs from regular radio commentaries as it offers a full description of the stadium, game, fan reactions, locations in terms of play and also fan location in relation to pitch and goals. 

David Bowen, RNIB Soccer Sight Co-ordinator said: “Soccer Sight is an excellent scheme which will enhance the enjoyment of blind and partially sighted people going to Northern Ireland internationals. It gives an all round better, fuller and more complete match going experience. Also it opens up the other aspects of going to the football fellow sighted fans appreciate as a matter of course.”

Irish FA President, Jim Shaw added: "The Irish FA is delighted to have been able to access funding to from DCAL to provide new digital equipment to enhance the quality of broadcast to all our visually impaired and blind supporters at Northern Ireland home games.”

Carl Frampton said: “The Irish FA should be congratulated along with their dedicated coaches and staff for their huge efforts in breaking down some of the barriers faced by blind and partially sighted people in accessing sports.”

Barry Macaulay, RNIB NI Senior Manager commented: "It is great to see the Irish FA continuing to lead the way on accessibility for sports fans who are blind or partially sighted. This updated equipment will be ideal for the revamped National Football Stadium and we are very hopeful that GAA and Ulster Rugby will follow suit and provide audio description facilities at Casement Park and Ravenhill.”

This project has been made possible due to the generous support of the NI Executive through the  Department  of Culture, Arts and Leisure through the ‘Promoting Equality, Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion through Sport’ programme.

 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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