Students learn blind fitness skills

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Exercise and fitness students with Dave Kelly (Centre)

Exercise and fitness students with Dave Kelly (Centre)

Bootle sports students have been taught new skills to deliver exercise and fitness to people who are visually impaired.

Workshops were carried out at Hugh Baird College to pupils taking BTEC sport and active leisure, diploma in exercise and fitness, personal training and levels two and three in football.

They were led by Dave Kelly, from UK blind charity Daisy UK, who lost his sight 17 years ago when he developed a rare eye disease.

Since gaining a BA Hons degree in coaching and sports development and a degree in coaching for the disabled, he founded Daisy UK which aims to help disabled people to fulfil their true potential and grasp opportunities through sports, education and employment.

Through activities such as using parachutes to stress the importance of team work, students were able to discover new ways to work with disabled people through sports in their future careers.

Debbie Stewart, who lectures in Fitness & Exercise at Hugh Baird College, said: “We’re hoping that after the sessions, students will show an interest in working within the areas being promoted or put themselves forward to do voluntary work, plan sporting events or raise money for Daisy UK.

“It’s also a great opportunity to keep up the momentum of the 2012 Paralympics.”

Dave appeared on the Channel 4 show Secret Millionaire, where he was given £70,000 towards the charity by Scottish philanthropist Tony Banks.

The money was given after Dave’s hard-working attitude and strength showed him worthy of the millionaire’s money.

Dave said: “This is our first time working here at Hugh Baird College.

“It’s great to be helping the students. They’re the future of this country, the ones who will help to mould a more inclusive society.

“Running these sessions is a fantastic window of opportunity to help them to develop new skills and knowledge, as well as acquiring the wisdom to know what to do with their new-found knowledge.”

More information about Daisy UK can be found here.

About Rachael Bentham, JMU Journalism