Birmingham Vision’s sports directorate is run by Luke Hedley. Luke’s role is split between Birmingham Vision and British Blind Sport. Through working for both organisations, the aim is to increase participation in sport both locally and on a wider scale.
Luke is responsible for supporting individuals with a visual impairment who would like to either try sport and physical activity for the first time, or to get them physically active again. The aim is to break down barriers to participation so that sport is available to the masses and this is done in slightly different ways between Birmingham Vision and British Blind Sport.
The role with British Blind Sport is slightly different in that Luke also covers the whole of the West Midlands area as well as Birmingham. Whilst still working with local organisations and societies, he also works with County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) across the region to create bespoke action plans for their County with the aim being to increase participation in sport amongst those with a visual impairment. The aim is to also improve the skills of coaches from local clubs and other leisure providers to help make their club, gym or facility more accessible and VI friendly. These action plans are all encompassing and vary from things such as making sure that the relevant British Blind Sport contact details are on the CSP website and are accessible, to helping secure funding and delivering open days and taster sessions.
If you are interested in joining one of the Sports Groups, or would like more information. You can contact Luke by phone, text or email.
The role with Birmingham Vision is very localised and involves working with a number of local organisations, societies, recreational sports clubs and professional sports clubs in order to provide sporting opportunities to individuals with a visual impairment. This is a very active, "hands on role" and through these partnerships we are able to firstly highlight where the gaps in the sporting market are, and then look at how we can fill these gaps by providing taster sessions, open days or even creating new clubs. Luke is able to signpost service users to local accessible clubs that they may not have been aware of previously, or use it to gauge interest on the potential creation of new clubs.