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VIDEO: ‘I want to show that I can play’ – Visually-impaired youngsters team up for Dundee football match

Youngsters living with visual impairments and other disabilities showed  off their football skills in the first sporting event of its kind in Dundee.

Children with eye disorders were joined by others on the autism spectrum, with learning difficulties and global developmental delay on the turf at SoccerWorld on Old Glamis Road.

The visually-impaired football match took place at SoccerWorld Dundee.
The two teams pictured at the end of the match.

Aberlour Dundee

The visually-impaired football match was organised through children’s charity Aberlour by Dundee student Nathan Malley, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) – a genetic disorder which causes the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.

He said he was inspired to show people what those with eye conditions can achieve after meeting two-time gold medal-winning Paralympic cyclist Stephen Bate, who also lives with RP.

The 17-year-old said: “I put this all together so people who have got the same eye problem, or different eye problems, can play football together.

“It’s just a sport I love doing and I was hearing about people saying behind my back that I can’t play football so I want to show them that I can still play football.”

Family worker for Aberlour’s Dundee option service Izzy Huggan helped coordinate the event.

She said: “We’re fundraising to support the Aberlour services here in Dundee. It is also really important.

“The service I work for in Dundee is a disability service so it is a really good opportunity to showcase the work we have been doing in supporting young people to reach their full potential and flourish.

“It’s really wonderful to see the response that we’ve had.”

There is now a possibility that the visually-impaired football team could be here to stay, after Aberlour staff entered talks with Disability Sport Scotland.

Liz Nolan, assistant director for Aberlour across central and east Scotland, added: “We work with families across the whole spectrum. Disabilities can cause significant stress in family life.

“Every child deserves the chance to flourish and Nathan has flourished in the last year – setting up this event knowing there are other kids like him and they are all here.

“We have got children here from the Borders services as well.”

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