Sudbury·Morning North

Sudbury students give five-a-side football a try

A teacher of the visually impaired in Sudbury is hoping five-a-side football catches on.
Grade 3 students Marin O'Malley and Sam Drouin learn how to play five-a-side soccer. Teacher Adriano Simonato is introducing the sport to students at the Catholic District School Board. (supplied)

A teacher of the visually impaired in Sudbury is hoping five-a-side football catches on.

Adriano Simonato, who teaches students with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, discovered the sport known as "blind soccer" at the Para Pan Am Games.

Simonato brought some coaches to Sudbury on Thursday to teach to sighted and visually impaired students.

Players have to listen to the voices of their team mates to learn where they are and coaches direct from the side-lines. The sighted students wear blindfolds. The ball has a bell in it.

The goal keepers are the only sighted players.

"What happens is that the goal keeper will guide his or her defenders right in front of them, immediately in front of them," Simonato said. 

Players learn to recognize each others voices, he said, in order to pass the ball.

Simonato said blind soccer is a hugely popular sport and he hopes to build some competitive teams.

He also said it's important for students who are visually impaired to be part of a group with their sighted peers.

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