Contributor Reni Jackson – Sports Benefit the Blind

What are sports for the blind and what are the benefits? Well, I am here to tell you. My name is Reni Jackson of Louisville, Kentucky. I was a successful athlete in high school and for about 15 years from 1977 until 1992.

My journey began in high school in 1966 and culminated this year by being inducted into the United States Association of Blind Athletes Hall of Fame.

When I was a kid, I participated in all the normal neighborhood games like football, baseball, and basketball.  When I was 15, I was declared legally blind.

While I was always a decent athlete, my abilities began to seriously improve when I became an adult.  With the USABA, I participated in Track and Field events, and played on the Goalball team as well.  During my time playing with the USABA, I was able to travel world-wide and competed in international competitions, world championships, and three Paralympics games.

Sports for the blind can be any sport that has been adapted or modified to accommodate the blind or visually impaired. The benefits are truly life changing and you will carry the lessons learned and fond memories for the rest of your life. I’ve listed five benefits below that I feel every blind athlete enjoys and that they carry and use while they are playing and, more importantly, in their everyday lives as well. 

Perseverance: The most important, it feeds the rest of them. Steady persistence, determined spirit.

Confidence: The more a person pursues, the more confidence and courage they will build. Please remember, you are going to stumble sometimes, but that is when your courage is needed the most.

Self-respect: Knowledge of one’s own worth. When you get knocked down and you pick yourself up and learn from your mishaps.

Opportunities:  Favorable circumstances. In sports you will be injected into many good situations, with confidence and self-respect you will learn how to take advantage and learn to overlook the bad.

Health: When you are healthy from training, your perseverance is awakened, your confidence is high, your self-respect is noticeable and the opportunities will find you.

So get out and play. If you do not have an organization for the blind near you that supports sports for the blind, check out the web site at www.usaba.org.

Comments are closed.