The Manx Blind Welfare Society is launching an innovative new activity at its headquarters on Friday – acoustic shooting.
Designed for the visually impaired, but open to all, acoustic shooting involves the use of adapted rifles fitted with special sights, which measure the level of light reflected from the target and convert it into sound. Participants wear headphones to hear the sound, which becomes more frequent the closer they are to the target.
The Society will be registered as a rifle club and expert Ken Nash from British Blind Sport is travelling to the Island to help set up the shooting and train people to use the equipment.
Acoustic shooting will be launched at a special open day on Friday. Anyone, whether they have a sight impairment or not, is welcome to have a go or just observe the acoustic shooting between 10.30am and 7pm at Corrin Court in Onchan.
A series of open days will be held resulting in a regular club night being established.
MBWS Visually Impaired Shooting Coordinator Dave Wilson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the Island’s visually impaired to take part in a sport they never imagined they would.
“There has been almost two years of planning, the facilities have been inspected and cleared by relevant authorities, and now we are ready to get started. We’re very proud to be able to offer this sport at Corrin Court, as there are fewer than 30 clubs with these facilities in the UK.”
He added: “Acoustic shooting is a long-established sport, and providing these facilities here in the Island could lead to competitive opportunities in the future.”
MBWS Chief Executive Ian Cooil added: “Our aim is to provide a diverse range of activities for our members, from afternoon teas at Corrin Court to kayaking at the Mooragh Park, and, where possible, involve the wider community in the events we arrange for the visually impaired.
“This is an exciting new experience for our members, and it is open to all. There is no upper or lower age limit, it is available for any level of sight impairment and most mobility issues can be catered for.
“There will be opportunities to help us by volunteering to assist during acoustic shooting sessions, and we will also be offering corporate teambuilding events.”
MBWS provides a range of important services and support to more than 600 people with serious sight loss in the Island. It relies entirely on donations to fund its services which are mainly provided for free to members.
To find out more about acoustic shooting or the work of MBWS, please visit www.mbws.org.im or www.facebook.com/manxblindwelfaresociety