GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Local visually-impaired children were able to participate in competitive field activities as a part of the Southern Oregon Education Service District's first field day on Thursday. The event was held in partnership with the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes.
"A lot of physical activity, builds self esteem, having good competitive, accessible sports for the blind students" program coordinator Mark Moskowitz said. " They really get the bug to be active and kids need to be moving and it's a challenge for somebody with vision impairment."
Moskowitz said the goal is to bring together blind and low-vision students from across five Oregon counties for a day of fun at Grants Pass High School.
The group of 20 children, with varying levels of sight, took part in competitive Paralympic sport Goal Ball and a competitive soccer for the blind 5-A-Side Soccer.
He said both activities and the entire field day is a great motivator for these kids to stay in shape.
"We, in the program, feel it's very important for us that blind and low-vision individuals are be able to be very physically active," Moskowitz said. "We want to teach lifelong wellness and teaching them good competitive sports like this will allow them to, through their lifetimes, stay active which is healthy for all of us."
While there was a small $5 fee to participate, the organization also provided scholarships for some children. Local physical education teachers also attended to learn about these accessible activities for their students.