September 22, 2023

Educating about sports for the visually challenged

Issues observing do not have to indicate you can’t perform sporting activities.

Ricky Jones, an Oak Ridge Higher University alumnus who is blind, started the day just lately at Jefferson Center School training youngsters about the recreation goalball, which is portion of the Paralympics. His spouse Christy Ray, who also has a eyesight impairment, joined him in primary the functions.

Goalball involves a ball with bells which the players, in teams of three, listen to relatively than see. Jones spelled out the three-pound rubber ball has bells inside of. The goal is to rating targets and reduce the other workforce from performing so. 

“Some folks have when compared it to the reverse of dodgeball,” Jones mentioned in an job interview with The Oak Ridger, explaining that gamers want to make sure the ball hits them.

Former ORHS graduate Ricky Jones, who is blind, and his wife Christy Ray, who is partially blind, gave a presentation titled, 'STRIVE4You' to Jefferson Middle School students on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The program teaches school physical education departments strategies for teaching blind students.

Goalball players usually are not authorized to see anything. Jones defined that all of the players at JMS that morning had worn rest masks.

Jones said he aims to introduce students to the thought of “adaptive sporting activities.” Adaptive sports are athletics playable by anyone, regardless of disability. They involve present sports adapted for individuals with disabilities to participate in, and athletics like goalball, which was exclusively invented for persons with disabilities.

Yet another of his targets is to counter stereotypes pupils might have pertaining to blindness and vision impairment.

“They appeared very thrilled,” he mentioned. “One kid stated, ‘I had to action out of my comfort zone, which was exciting for me.'”

The tale of Ricky Jones

That afternoon, just after the children had long gone house, Jones lectured a team of bodily training instructors and other adults from across the Oak Ridge school program on how to run bodily schooling plans for visually challenged students.

A student plays goalball while wearing a sleep mask so he cannot see.

“Every single time I do a single of these qualified improvement workshops I appear back again to here,” he claimed of Oak Ridge, the town in which he grew up and the place he performed sporting activities. He played Oak Ridge Boys Club baseball and basketball, then joined the keep track of crew at Robertsville Middle School.

“Go Rams,” he stated, joking that he had to wait all working day for all of the JMS students to go away for him to say that. The RMS Rams are opponents of the JMS Eagles in sports.