In an Australian-first, Frankston and District Basketball Association (FDBA) has introduced a basketball program for individuals who are blind or vision-impaired. Spearheaded by the dedicated efforts of Programs Support Officer Tanya Thomas, this pioneering program has received invaluable support from Disability Sports Australia and Blind Sports Australia.

Tanya, along with Brad who has been voluntarily assisting with the program, had been brainstorming and tinkering with the initiative for several months.

“It is our commitment to help people who are visually impaired to play basketball,” Tanya and Brad said.

“We want to cultivate a community where resilience and teamwork redefine what’s possible on and off the court.”

The pilot program, currently in its skills and drills stage, is set to add basketball games in the near future. The program’s schedule includes sessions on the following dates:

November 14, 2023
November 21, 2023
November 28, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 12, 2023
December 19, 2023

Participants engage in a series of exercises and games on a standard basketball court. These activities typically involve 3 to 4 individuals, however, individual drills are also incorporated. The primary focus of the drills is to acquaint participants with the basketball court, allowing them to understand the size of the goal by feeling the ring and backboard.

Skills covered encompass dribbling, bounce passes, shooting, team passing, and movements in both half-court and full-court settings. In the modified game, still in its trial period – successful goals are worth 3 points, and hitting the backboard earns 1 point. Each skills session typically lasts for 60-90 minutes.

To ensure inclusivity, the program offers modified equipment, including a bell ball, sound rings, goggles, floor rings, and a braille map of the basketball court. This wide array of adaptations enables individuals with varying degrees of vision impairment to participate.

The program is open to anyone who is blind or has vision loss, regardless of age. Those interested in joining can register via the provided link: Registration Link.

The program’s activities take place at the Frankston and District Basketball Association’s Dreamstreet Lending Arena, located at 90 Bardia Avenue, Seaford, VIC, 3198. If you’re eager to get involved or have any inquiries, you can contact the FDBA office at 9776 899 or send an email to Tanya Thomas at tanya.thomas@fdba.com.au.

The association is excited to not only introduce basketball to a new audience but to also highlight the power of sports in fostering inclusivity and breaking barriers to entry. We hope this is an inspiring step forward in ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, has access to the joys of basketball.

Vision Impaired Basketball Program – Click Here