Karratha man calls for new recruits to blind cricket

Alicia PereraPilbara News
David Martin is calling on people with vision impairments in the City of Karratha area to consider giving cricket at go.
Camera IconDavid Martin is calling on people with vision impairments in the City of Karratha area to consider giving cricket at go. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

A Karratha man is on a mission to set up more sporting options for vision-impaired people in the City of Karratha area, starting with cricket.

David Martin, a player with WA State blind cricket team the Venetians, is calling on fellow vision-impaired people in the region to consider trying their hand at blind cricket, with the aim of holding trials and getting a handful of other locals involved in the sport at a State level.

He also hopes to start up training for blind golf at the end of the cricket season, establishing a year-round pipeline of sports for people with vision impairments.

Martin, who is also the vice president of Blind Golf Australia, said he hoped the offer of blind cricket training could give vision-impaired people a new activity to be part of and boost the Venetians’ North West representation.

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“The main reason I decided to do it is because of what I went through when I lost my sight and found there was absolutely nothing for a blind person to do in Karratha,” he said.

“I became FIFO to Perth for two years and there I did tenpin bowling, cricket and golf — there are heaps of blind sports but they were the ones I chose because I’d done a bit of them before I lost my sight.”

“Unless I’d been to Perth and found out how to play those sports, there’s no way I could have done what I do now.”

Blind cricket is a modified version of the sport that is played with a ball containing a bell so it can be heard as it moves, and underarm bowling along the ground.

Martin said his aim was to assemble a group of local players who would train regularly at the indoor cricket nets at the Karratha Country Club and, once new players had reached a certain level, to travel to Perth to play in carnivals and train with the State team.

He said there was also the potential for members of the WA and/or Australian blind cricket teams to travel to Karratha and play a series of games locally.

Martin said participating in sports like cricket and golf could benefit people with vision impairments by giving them an avenue to stay fit and active, socialise with other community members and learn from other people facing the same challenges.

“You find a lot of people that go blind, and I noticed it when I first went blind, they wonder what can they can do — do they just sit around and wait for someone to help them do something before they can go and do things?,” he said.

“Now it’s keep up with me if you can.”

Martin’s occupational therapist and VisAbility worker Marichu Mills, who has been helping him recruit participants, said she had already introduced him to several people interested in finding out more about blind cricket and golf.

“I am amazed at what David is achieving – he is so passionate about sport and always willing to share his enthusiasm,” she said.

“What sets David apart is that he has ‘get up and go’ — he is proactive at bringing the blind community together and these shared experiences are empowering people to be more independent.”

For more information or to get involved, email Martin at dobba4@bigpond.com.

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