Press Release: The VISTA (Visually Impaired Sports Training and Advocacy) Games

Brief history:
The Visually Impaired Sports Training and Advocacy (VISTA) started in 2009 with sports for the visually impaired orientation and sports clinic for their children with visual impairment. We were able to start with running, swimming and showdown (combination of table tennis and air hockey for the visually impaired). In 2010 we were able to host a friendly competition for 80 children with visual impairment and a repeat event was featured in primetime television. Last March 5, 2011, we were able to organize a mini- Olympics for the national Capital Region, Region III and Region IV-A with 147 children participating. From there we were able to introduce other sports for the Blind like tandem biking and goal ball (adaptive soccer for the blind), Now with the help of our partners like JCI and Senator Pia Cayetano’s Gabriel Symphony Foundation, and the Department of Education; VISTA Games has become an annual event

General program of Events during VISTA GAMES:

The program usually starts with the singing of the national Anthem and Invocation. Then we usually have the ceremonial run where all the children and their parents or partners participate and after the completion are given their medals as a token of their achievement in finishing the oval course.

From different age groups, the children with visual impairment show their skill in running allowing them to reach the finish line first before their sighted guides. The crowd couldn’t be more admiring for their dedication.

Then table games start like showdown (adaptive table tennis for the visually impaired) and chess. The competition is stiff as the players go through elimination rounds until only the best players remain. The goal ball and fun games follow.

The swimming pool sizzles with action as the visually impaired. swimmers compete in their freestyle and breaststroke at 25 meter and 50 meter event. Their performances were enough to show that for a visually impaired. child to compete in the field of swimming is possible.

In winding down of all the events and the most awaited portion would be the awarding of medals. Every child who bested all the competitors is called champions. The best school is declared by the tally of most medals just like in any competition.

FUTURE PLANS and PROJECTS:

We at PAVIC believe in this program where a visually impaired. child is given the opportunity to develop his/her entire being especially in the field of sports. It does not only give them physical activity but it also molds their personality to be a good sport in even in life.

We are continue to look for more partners to continue the VISTA Program so that a visually impaired. child can be given the opportunity to show their talent and physical prowess in the world of sports.

We Plan To:

  1. Conduct Sports Orientation and Clinics the whole year round and explore other events for the visually impaired. child.
  2. Mid-Year Competitive Events
  3. Explore other venues of partnership with the Local Government and other NGOs
  4. Compete in Asian and World events in the field of sports for the visually impaired