The Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital (THONEH) will be sponsoring the Malaysian Blind Sports Association’s (MBSA) blind shooters to Malaysia’s first outing at the prestigious Ostrava Cup 2016 at Czech Republic. The shooters selected for this competition are Major Azhari Abdullah and ASP Amir Abdullah.
Currently in its fifth year, the Ostrava Cup in Czech Republic is an international shooting competition organised by the Police Sports Club Ostrava, for blind and visually impaired athletes. This year’s event will be held from 15 to 18 September 2016, and the two Malaysians will participate in the ‘60 shots standing’ discipline.
In support of sports for the blind, the THONEH’s financial assistance will cover the athlete’s attire, flight and accommodation, a new customised aiming device, and bullets for the upcoming competition.
Target shooting for the visually impaired utilises standard shooting equipment with a special electronic audio aiming device fitted to the gun, sponsored by THONEH. The aiming device detects the point of aim of the gun relative to the target and provides feedback to the shooter through differing sounds channelled to headphones indicating the point of aim. With this device, a visually impaired shooter, regardless of amount of sight, can achieve accuracy comparable to a fully sighted shooter.
“THONEH has, for 30 years, been serving the public and helping them overcome conditions, which affect their vision. The hospital has its roots with the Malaysian Association of the Blind, and it is our greatest pleasure to offer hope and empowerment even to those who have lost vision,” said Dr Norasidi Bin Bin Salim Al-Haj, General Manager of THONEH.
“While we have done much over the years, there is always room to do more. This year, we embarked on an exciting journey to support the underserved blind sports. We hope to encourage more people with vision loss to participate in the many sporting activities designed for the blind, so that they can enjoy the benefits of sports.
“Apart from supporting talented sportsmen and women, exercise for all is encouraged as such regular physical activity has been proven to offer tremendous benefits for the body, and for the mental well-being of individuals. This will inevitably contribute towards the overall well-being of those that has suffered from vision loss,” he added.
“This is the first year that Malaysia will send two shooters from MBSA to represent the country at this prestigious international shooting event,” shares Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the President of MBSA and Chairperson of the International Blind Sports Federation (Asia). “We are grateful for the sponsorship by THONEH, and appreciate their gesture in support of blind athletes. We look forward to a successful outing in Czech Republic.”
He added, “We are very proud to introduce the shooters selected for the Ostrava Cup 2016. Major Azhari Abdullah began shooting in 1996, and after losing his vision, he continued his passion and turned to blind shooting in 2009 and was selected to represent Malaysia in 2011 for the 3rd IBSA Open European Shooting Air Rifle Championships in Slovakia. ASP Amir Abdullah began blind shooting in 2015, and at his first tournament he competed in, the IBSA Alpine World Cup held in Austria, he succeeded in getting 9th placing. They are not only an inspiration to the visually impaired but I have no doubt that they will do our country proud.”
The ‘60 shots standing’ is one of the many different disciplines available in shooting, where the participant has to fire while in a standing position, with both feet on the ground without any other support. Each participant is provided with 60 shots using an approved precision air rifles, shooting a target 10 meters away within 105 minutes.
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