SLFVH has been promoting sports and recreation for the visually handicapped. Cricket, track and field events and indoor games are the main sports which have generated much enthusiasm and response from our members.
“Cricket Luverly cricket” is the most popular game amongst the visually handicapped. The game originated at the school for the Blind, Ratmalana, in the 1950s with the later Mr. K.S. Jayalath being the doyen of cricket for the blind in Sri Lanka. The game gradually evoked interest and in 1981 a team of blind cricketers and table tennis players from Australia led by Mr. Ivan Molloy, made a four week goodwill tour of Sri Lanka.
They played friendly matches in Colombo, Moratuwa, Galle, Kurunegala, Kandy and Negombo. It was also a friendship building visit where four limited over games and three two day games were played. In 1984 our team of visually handicapped cricketers made a months tour of Gujarat state in India.
In November 1998 the inaugural World Cup for cricket for the visually handicapped was conducted in new Delhi, India, and most of the players who represented the Sri Lankan team were members of the Federation.
To mark the Silver Jubilee of the Federation in 1999, the SLFVH organised and conducted the first ever all island cricket tourney for visually handicapped cricketers. The trophy was won by the Tangalle School for the Deaf and Blind and the School for the Blind at Ratmalana were the runners up.
Our members have been regularly participating in athletic meets organised by the National Federation of Sports for the disabled. In 1995 some of them participated in the marathon race for the first time in Sri Lanka. Our athletes have won several medals at the Multi-Disability games held in Australia and other countries.
Swimming is also a sport in which several visually handicapped persons participate. Our swimmers have won the main awards at the swimming event organised by the Egoda Uyana Social and Cultural Organisation (ESCO).
This is a game at which our members have beaten sighted players. The National Chess Association of the Visually Impaired held the first National Championship in December 1997 with our members taking all top awards.
Here too, visually handicapped persons can hold their own against sighted opponents. The Sri Lanka Council for the Blind conducts a tournament annually in which several of our members have emerged victorious.