With a few simple adaptations, people of any age with visual impairments can participate in various sports.
Swimming, athletics, tandem cycling, judo, ski, indoor football, mountain climbing, chess and goalball (created specifically for blind athletes) are just some of the sporting disciplines that have no barriers. Whether it’s calisthenics at school championships or high-level sports, ONCE members can find the sports activity that is perfect for them.
The Organization also promotes and helps skilled high-level athletes. Every sporting discipline is grouped under the Spanish Federation of Sports for the BLIND (FEDC in Spanish), which was created in 1993. For a few years now each sport has also been associated with its respective federation, as is the case of tandem cycling, for example, which has a single national coach responsible for every variant of cycling for the disabled under the umbrella of the Spanish Cycling Federation. This is just one more step toward the normalization of those sports that are played by people with disabilities. The disciplines overseen by the FEDC are: chess, athletics, tandem cycling, skiing, indoor football, goalball (created specifically for the visually impaired), judo, mountaineering, swimming and shooting.
On a related topic, the Paralympic Games are a fine example of the excellent skills possessed by visually disabled athletes, as was confirmed at the last games held in Beijing in 2008. The ONCE also chairs the presidency of the Spanish Paralympic Committee, whose role was given a boost following the implementation of the government’s ADOP Plan (Support Paralympic Sports), which is helping elite athletes with disabilities to prepare for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.