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Visually impaired youngsters shine at UK’s biggest athletics event for blind children

16 October 2015
News Brand

Children from the Midlands and North of England are proving that visual impairment is no barrier to achieving your goals after taking part at the UK’s biggest athletics event for blind children.

100 visually impaired youngsters took part in this year’s Boots Opticians Actionnaires Athletics Day at the prestigious English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The track and field event, which was run by Action for Blind People and sponsored by Boots Opticians, brought together children from 12 Actionnaires clubs from the Midlands and North of England. These clubs, run by Action for Blind People, give children with a visual impairment the chance to take part in a range of fun activities including ten pin bowling, pizza making and even skiing.

The event, now in its ninth year and the fifth in which Boots Opticians has supported, brings together blind and partially sighted children to take part in a range of track and field events, which one day could help them launch a career as a Paralympic athlete.

Lesley Inganni, Operations Manager at Action for Blind People, noted that the day is the highlight of the year for many who attend the Actionnaires clubs on a regular basis.

Lesley said: “The day is a fantastic way of bringing children together through a range of sports which might not be available to them elsewhere.

“The event teaches the children that their sight loss is no barrier to achieving their goals while at the same time improving their social skills by encouraging them to mix and make new friends.”

Ben Fletcher, Managing Director of Boots Opticians, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this fantastic event.  Supporting young people is really important to us, so it is a real privilege to be a part of providing these inspirational children with the chance to enjoy the excitement of sport, which so many of us take for granted.”

The Actionnaires clubs are open to blind and partially sighted children aged four to 16, creating opportunities to develop their fitness and artistic skills and encouraging self-confidence and social interaction. Action for Blind People also provides information about sight loss for young people, activity breaks, as well as help with assistive technology and support groups for parents.

For more information about Action for Blind People’s Actionnaires clubs please




Notes for Editors

  • All media enquiries to Wayne Coles on or 0207 391 2320. Or, for urgent enquiries out-of-hours, please call 07948 482812.
  • Action for Blind People is a national charity with local reach, providing practical help and support to blind and partially sighted people of all ages. Our close relationship with RNIB enables us to provide a unique combination of complementary strengths and expertise to help an ever increasing number of people with sight loss.
  • If abbreviating ‘Action for Blind People’, please use ‘Action’ rather than AFBP or ABP.


About Boots Opticians

Boots Opticians is one of the leading opticians in the UK with around 637* practices, of which 181* operate on a franchise basis. Around 30% of practices are located in Boots stores with the balance being standalone optical practices.

In August 2013, Boots Opticians became the first multiple optician in the UK to include digital retinal photography as a standard element of its eye test for customers of all ages.

De Rigo, a world leader in the design, production and distribution of high-end eyewear and sunwear, owns a 42% minority interest in Boots Opticians which it obtained in 2009 after Boots Opticians merged with Dollond & Aitchison to create the second largest optical chain in the UK.

* As at 31 May 2015 excluding equity method investments.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

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*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023