STUDENTS are helping visually-impaired children take part in sports.
Every Saturday volunteers work at Actionnaires – a sports club for partially-sighted youngsters.
The Greenhead College students help charity Action for Blind People work with 22 children aged between two and 17.
The youngsters learn to play cricket, rugby and football with specially adapted equipment. They also go on away days to places like the indoor winter sports centre Xscape in Castleford.
Co-ordinator Susan Robinson is very grateful for the volunteers’ efforts.
“Without the volunteers, we couldn’t run this club,” she said.
Susan, who has been running Actionnaires for six years, added: “The volunteers become friends with the children and work with them one-to-one as they become more experienced.
“I’m very proud that five of our volunteers have gone on to become co-ordinators for Action for Blind People.”
Robert Bedford, 19, from Cowlersley, started volunteering four years ago when he was at Greenhead College.
The Bradford University biomedical sciences student said: “I really enjoy the experience. It teaches you a lot of personal skills like empathy and communication. You get to know the kids and there’s a lot of interaction.”
Robert added: “I would like to do graduate medicine and I think volunteering will help my career as it encourages me to develop as a person.”
The children take part in Actionnaires from 10am to 1pm every Saturday. They were recently visited by three members of Yorkshire Visually-impaired Cricket Club – coach Mark Beckles-Wilson and players Atif Rafiq and Phil Green.
Atif said: “Some of the kids have not played cricket before so we try to get them to understand it as a game and get them to enjoy playing it.
“Phil and I started out like this and now we’re playing for Yorkshire. Eventually some of these children might end up playing for Yorkshire.”