Six months to go until World Blind Games arrives in Birmingham
Birmingham is set to welcome the world’s largest sporting event for blind and partially sighted people from 18 to 27 August. Around 1,250 blind and partially sighted athletes will be taking part.
Birmingham is gearing up to welcome the world’s largest sporting event for blind and partially sighted athletes to the UK for the first time.
The 2023 International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) World Games are being held across the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus, and other regional venues, between 18-27 August.
The World Games will see around 1,250 blind and partially sighted athletes from 70 countries competing in 10 sports – three of which include men’s blind football, men’s and women’s goalball, and judo which are qualification tournaments for the 2024 Paralympic Games.
Other sports being featured include archery, chess, men’s and women’s cricket, powerlifting, ten pin bowling, tennis, and showdown.
Organisers are predicting that the World Games will be the largest gathering of blind athletes ever brought to the UK, and the largest blind sporting event in the world in 2023.
And with under six months to go, it’s been revealed that hundreds of support staff, volunteers and technical officials, behind the scenes, are being recruited and selected from across the world.
With phase one of the entry process just about to conclude, organisers are buoyed at the level of registrations, which in some sports are exceeding forecasts.
Birmingham is hosting the seventh edition of the World Games - which is held every four years – following a successful joint bid between British Blind Sport, Birmingham City Council, Sport Birmingham, UK Sport, and the University of Birmingham.
Sallie Barker is the Chair at British Blind Sport, the national disability sport organisation representing blind and partially sighted people in sport across Great Britain, and is the host federation for this year’s World Games.
“Hosting the 2023 IBSA World Games has the potential to be a watershed moment for the two million people in the UK who are blind or partially sighted – many of whom are currently reluctant to engage in sporting activities due to a range of factors.
“Not only will this World Games showcase to the wider public blind and partially sighted athletes’ abilities, it is aiming to inspire other blind and partially sighted individuals to take advantage of the pathways into sport and other volunteering opportunities in their own communities.
“As the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham put on a great festival of sport. In hosting the IBSA World Games, Birmingham and Great Britain will again aim to show that it can provide the best possible stage for the world’s best blind and partially sighted athletes to showcase their talents.”