International Blind Games 18-27 August 2023
See we can do all kinds of sports being disabled!
So around 5-6 months ago, I found these international games (every 4 years) happening via my internet searches for photography opportunities. I came across this and it was something that was totally different to anything I had heard about in sports. Yes, we have all heard of the Paralympics and Special Olympics etc. However blind doing sports?, I was intrigued by this and dug deeper.
Turns out they can do these sports at the games and more
Blind Football Men, women, and mixed
Power Weight Lifting
GoalBall (3 aside football)
Ten and 9 pin Bowling
If you want to know more about any of them, please check out the link below. However as the week passes, I hope and will make sure I get some photographs of everything listed above. I will also be digging into exactly what is involved in each of them. So if I had not become disabled, I would have never looked for different things to photograph I would have stayed in main stream sports and got very disillusioned as it was very hard to get a foot in the door so to speak. See my mindset has changed as I never know who you are going to meet at these events, and I look forward to the challenges it will throw at me.
I can understand how sighted people can do all these games, but remember these are partially sighted, or completely blind people.
They will use aids e.g. In football and goalball, the ball is fitted with some noise inside of it exactly what noise it makes, I don’t know yet, I will try to record it for you.
Showdown looks like ice hockey on an air table.
The Archery is an intriguing one and will be interested to find out how it all works,yes I will stay behind the arrows as they are being shot down the course.
From the cricket side of things the stumps are much larger than normal, more of that later.
Ten and 9 pin bowling, it is at a normal bowling alley and again what adaptations are being used, I will have to wait and see.
Power weightlifting, well that’s an easy one, as it’s the same as sighted people I presume.
Judo The only difference is they start by holding each other’s tunics instead of facing off as normal, but the throws and objectives are almost the same.
Tennis is done on a smaller court with a lower net and a tactile court and a yellow ball that emits a noise.
So why did I want to go? well in my normal sports, everybody knows about sailing, kitesurfing, jet skis, powerboats etc. However this for me is out of my comfort zone, as these are 11 sports I have never seen let alone photographed. Everything will be different. Now for me this is a new opportunity to get some new images for my portfolio and meet some again amazing humans have overcome their difficulties in life to compete at an international level there are approx 1150 competitors from 70 countries taking part, so not a small set of games and no wonder it’s over 10 days, however, due to my FND I have limited myself to 6 days of shooting, making sure I have breaks in-between events.
So now being disabled has its advantages that I cannot do normal work due to my limited mobility, but from what I have found out so far, these sports are done on smaller courts and fields. This is ideal for me.
From some of the rules I have glanced at, for example, the goalball is done in silence so that the players can hear the balls around the pitch. So it’s lucky I have just changed to mirrorless cameras which can be put to silent running, as there is no shutter to ruin the silence. However, if you want I can turn on a sound noise to mimic the shutter if I want. So at least my camera will not disturb the players who rely on the acoustics of the hall, the sound of a ball, and instructions from their teammates to try and win the game.
I only went mirrorless in mid May and so I am still getting used to no shutter even at 11 frames per second, and sometimes you wonder if the camera has finished shooting, while you see the images pop up in the viewfinder after you release the shutter button. However I am slowly liking this action, as before the shutter was noisy and I felt I had to stop in some circumstances, now I keep going, yes I get some extra nothing shots as I have pressed the shutter button a little too long. I can live with those few extra images.
I will be doing a lot more videos at this event, so there will be some Youtube links and TikTok videos all will be on this blog, and on my social media, I will be uploading items every day all going well.