Thirty-five people representing four countries - Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Scotland - will gather this weekend in Berlin for blind futsal seminars, held as part of the UEFA-funded IBSA Futsal Development Project Europe.
UEFA charity cheque
The IBSA (International Blind Sport Federation) Futsal Development Project Europe was awarded UEFA's CHF1m (€650,000) charity cheque in 2006 for a three-year blind futsal development programme. Theoretical sessions on coaching blind players and refereeing matches will take place on Friday, followed by hands-on practical sessions on Saturday 5 July. The German national blind futsal team, as part of a training camp in the German capital, will take part in the practical sessions.
Participants will be given a solid grounding in the coaching and refereeing skills required for blind futsal by an international IBSA team with ample experience in the game. After the two days' teaching, participants will return to their clubs and organisations ready to offer the chance to play football to blind and partially sighted players in their countries. Two more seminars are scheduled for this year in Russia (October) and Turkey (December), while Croatia is expected to host countries from the Balkan region in the first quarter of 2009.
UEFA also helped promote football for the blind at UEFA EURO 2008™ last month. The national teams of Spain and England played a match in Basel ahead of one of the quarter-finals, as part of the Football for All programme promoting disabled football.
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