Natspec Games 2017

Photo description – About 50 of the competitors from different colleges are sitting in the stands of the sports hall laughing, smiling and holding their hands up in the air.

On Monday 22 May we at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) were excited to host the Natspec Games 2017. We welcomed specialist colleges from across the country to take part in a series of sports including goalball, football and Boccia to compete against our students. We were proud to showcase the RNC Sports Academy, the UK’s first sports academy designed specifically for people with visual impairment.


Natspec is known as the voice of specialist further education and RNC Principal Mark Fisher explained “We were honoured to be asked to be the hosts of the Natspec Games this year. We primarily work with young people who have visual impairment but we do also have some students with additional disabilities and pride ourselves on ensuring that sport is accessible and inclusive for all.”


Aaron Ford, RNC Sports Academy Teacher and GB Women’s Goalball Coach, organised the event and said “More than two thirds of RNC students access the sports academy in some way, whether that be playing recreationally for an hour a week or being an elite athlete in a GB development squad, and this is a figure that we are incredibly proud of. We hope that an event like this will inspire other colleges, both specialist and mainstream, to pursue inclusive sport so that everyone can enjoy its benefits.”


RNC entered three goalball teams with Sports Academy students Kali Holder (GB Women’s Goalball), Joe Roper (GB Goalball development squad) and Lois Turner (Captain of England Cricket and intermediate Goalball player) acting as coaches for the day.  Aaron says “I was so impressed with these guys, they showed a lot of team spirit and sportsmanship. QAC (Queen Alexandra College in Birmingham) entered a team, some of whom had never played competitive Goalball before, I was so proud that I didn’t even have to ask our students and they were down on the floor giving them tips for the game. Today was all about sportsmanship and I could not have been more proud of our students.”


Good sportsmanship was evident through all sports during the day as Tom Bendall, RNC Outreach Officer, oversaw the Boccia tournament. “There was a friendly yet competitive spirit with some very impressive tactical play.” RNC’s Hayden Kallay won the Boccia tournament and Tom added “Hayden has a lot of potential to pursue the game further and I am excited to see how far he can go.”


The final event of the day was football where the RNC team won an impressive four games out of four and topped the table. RNC’s Avram Plesca won the tournament’s golden boot after netting an impressive 10 goals in four games. RNC Sports Academy Coach Adam Bendall said “The boys played well – it was a great display of team work and professionalism for themselves and for the College.”


To find out more about studying at RNC, please call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email


Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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