3rd June 2005 at 01:00
FIT FOR ALL - INCLUDING CHILDREN WITH SIGHT PROBLEMS IN SPORT. RNIB. Pounds 9.95 plus pound;2.50 postage per order. Available as print or disk from RNIB Customer Services Centre, PO Box 173, Peterborough PE2 6WS

It's too easy to sideline children with special needs from PE and sport, either because of fears about safety or because of an assumption that there are things they can't do.

This concise and practical book from the Royal National Institute of the Blind sets out to convince teachers and coaches that "Sight problems need not be a barrier to developing physical skills and enjoying sport."

The case studies show what can be done. Fourteen year old David, for example, who was totally blind from birth, succeeded - with appropriate coaching at his local Actionnaires club for children with sight problems - in progressing from having to hold someone's hand all the time, in a shuffling walk, to the point where he can run, kick a ball, play cricket and go kayaking. His story alone - and there are many others - should stir teachers and coaches into action.

The book covers a range of sports, including athletics, swimming, multigyms, dance, gymnastics and judo. There's also a chapter on teaching PE at GCSE level. It's written from great experience and authority in a confident, can do style, and is required reading for any teacher who works with children with sight problems.

Gerald Haigh

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