Fundación ONCE and VJF choose Anantapur to begin Judo for the blind
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RDT has supported a steady rise of Judo in Anantapur, which has raised the interest of more distant organisations to tap into its rising popularity to reach out to the disabled with a programme for the visually impaired.

Fundación Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (FONCE) is a Spanish organisation that strives to uplift the interests of people with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired. It gives them a chance at social inclusion by providing them with training and employment opportunities.

Rural Development Trust (RDT) actively supports the empowerment of people, primarily youth, with disabilities through its sports programmes. FONCE therefore decided that RDT’s Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) would be the best place to reach out to the underprivileged while primarily focussing on people with disability. They decided to use the potential of Judo to achieve their target by partnering with the Valencia Judo Federation (VJF), who were impressed by the rising popularity of Judo in Anantapur.

Both FONCE and VJF sent down their representatives Francisco Campos Paco and Andres Minguez Martinez, respectively, to assess RDT’s Judo programme and simultaneously select and train prospective judo coaches who would eventually train young children in Judo. After a detailed selection, they decided that RDT’s high school for inclusive education would be the most suitable venue for a dedicated centre for Judo for the visually impaired.

Martinez and Paco arrived early on 3 May with compatriot and judo mate Daniel Araiz to assist them. They took little time for their assessment and soon began to train the coaches with strategies and games to understand the perspective of judo for the visually impaired. Martinez showed them a few advanced techniques that they could use to teach the children. The focus, however, was to make them aware of the patience they would need to exhibit while at training.

Later FONCE representative Paco taught them fun games that involved their students being blind folded. They followed this routine to help the probable coaches to transition their learning and gradually adapt to the needs of their blind students.

The plan is to introduce Judo to the children from first to the sixth grade as soon as July 2016, around the time that schools reopen in the region. The programme is looking at having a female and male coach, from the recent training, to train the children. The aim is to develop Judo in India and train as many children as possible to competitively take up the sport in the future with the ultimate goal to represent India at the Paralympics.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]




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