Students at Our Redeemer’s Christian School had the opportunity to learn and understand the impact of living with vision loss on people. They had the chance to learn and play goalball, a game played mainly by blind and visually impaired people.
“It’s a sport that was conceived just after World War II in England as a sport for recreation and rehabilitation for servicemen who lost their sight in World War II,” said Trampes Brown, chairman of North Dakota Blind Association. .
The objective of the game is to kick the ball into the net in front of your opponents, while keeping an eye on you.
“We had to go blindfolded and we had to listen to the bells and that was really interesting because you had to listen, and you had to have really good hearing to get it,” fifth grader Ruby Olson said. .
The purpose of the demonstration was not only to show students how to play the game, but also to learn more about living with vision loss.
“It educates people who are blind about how they should live and that anyone can do it,” said fifth-grade student Fisher Strom.
Brown says it’s important for everyone to be inclusive because a disability can affect anyone.
“Understanding inclusivity is realizing that you don’t know what your situation might be tomorrow,” Brown said. “That it could be an opportunity that you learn now about something that you could experience in the future.”
Olson says she learned more about life for people with disabilities.
“I now understand how God created them and it’s not that they’re different, it’s that they’re unique,” Olson said.
Brown says he hopes the students learned from his own personal story with vision loss.
“Any disability doesn’t prevent you from living a full life and achieving the goals you set for yourself,” Brown said. “It’s just an obstacle you choose to overcome.”
Goalball was first played at the Paralympic Games in 1976, and the women’s event was added in 1984.