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Blind footballer inspires youngsters at Bishop Auckland school
A BLIND footballer wowed school pupils with his soccer skills when he visited the region today (Tuesday, October 15).
Youngsters at St John’s School and Sixth Form College in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, were full of admiration for England footballer Owen Bainbridge and hung on to his every word.
The 23-year-old, who grew up in nearby Cockfield, lost his sight as a child, but refused to let his disability get in the way of his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
He is now a member of England’s blind football team and will represent his country in the European Championships in 2015 and the Paralympic Games the following year.
His visit to St John’s was part of his work for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), a charity the school has raised hundreds of pounds for over the years by taking part in Read for RNIB Day.
As well as talking to youngsters and answering questions, Mr Bainbridge held coaching sessions, which challenged pupils to pass and dribble the ball while blindfolded.
“This is the second time I have visited St John’s and it is such a friendly and welcoming place,” he said.
“The kids have been great. Their attitude is fantastic.”
Jaquie (correct) Holloway, arts co-ordinator at the school, said: “It is a real privilege to welcome Owen to our school.
“He is so inspiring and the children are in awe of him.”
To find out more about the RNIB, visit rnib.org.uk
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