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Top Award For Visually Impaired Coach


Craig Riach, volunteer at the Foundation’s Visually Impaired sessions, is recognised as Participant of the Year at prestigious Sport’s Awards in the North East.

The unheralded heroes of sport in the region were honoured at this year’s North East Disability Sports Awards, which were held at The Stadium of Light last night, aimed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of participants, coaches and clubs in 2014.

Over 150 guests from the world of sport were in attendance at the event, with over 80 individuals and clubs nominated for the eight awards on offer.

Craig Riach came out on top as Participant of the Year Award (sponsored by Smile Through Sport)

Craig, 35, lost his sight when he was 19 due to a hereditary condition called Lebers. Craig became isolated and lost confidence in himself. However with help from Henshaw’s Society for Blind People things began to change. 

In June, Craig became the first visually impaired person in the UK to achieve the FA Level 2 Coaching Disabled Players qualification.  Craig is an active volunteer with the Foundation and has recently gained permanent employment with Henshaws Society for blind people as their Fit for Life Co-ordinator. 

It is true to say that the power of sport, and specifically the power of football, has changed Craig’s life.

Reggie Dornan, disability football coordinator at the Foundation said:

“Craig has worked very hard over the past 12 months achieving some outstanding coaching awards in a short period of time.

“He is now putting that to very good use in both the Foundation’s adults and children’s blind and visually impaired football clubs.”

For more information on our disability sessions, please contact Reggie at

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