You could be based anywhere in the world, and if you consciously look around, you will always be able to find a long list of local individuals and groups who by default of being exceptional in some way or another inspire others to wish to do more with their own lives. Mateen Noray is one such individual, and he defies any expectations imposed by others who feel he may or may not be too restricted to enjoy what he loves most – playing the sport of Football.
Mateen lost the sight in both of his eyes at a very young age, and he had always loved playing Football as most young boys do. But instead of giving up on playing, Mateen discovered the very popular sport of ‘Blind Football’ which is more known in some countries than others but is a growing area of Sport which is getting more and more support locally.
“A group of friends and I took the initiative to apply for funding to set up a local league for others who are disabled in any way to be able to enjoy the sport of Football. We later discovered that this is a very popular global sport and so I carried on and since 2009 I have had the privilege of representing my country of England in international tournaments. Playing Football makes me feel great and I would encourage all others who feel they may be restricted in any way to think outside the box and pursue doing what they love despite any perceived obstacles!” he told Newsivity producer Mo Seedat in Leicester.
Mateen has played regular Football since younger and competes in a number of leagues as well as also having competed at national level having played for the England squad in the sport of Blind Football, where individuals who have little to no sight take part, as well as others who wear blindfolds when playing. The football has a rattle inside the ball and so the players rely on just the sound as well as the instructions from others when playing.
Our colleague Mo Seedat was filming at a local charity football marathon event held in Leicester, UK called ‘Dawn to dusk’ which was an overnight football match held in the memory of a local young person by the name of Azhar who lost his battle with Cancer. By chance he met Mateen and he was left inspired by his great passion for the game, and his talent on the pitch.
Meeting Matay was the added, unexpected dose of inspiration in a real positive community event held for the memory of a dear friend of the organisers and many of the guys taking part in the marathon match on the day. They raised over £700 for charity… a great example of community members coming together to do something fun and for a real positive purpose in memory of a much loved and dearly missed friend and colleague.
HERE IS A BRIEF GLIMPSE INTO THE EFFORTS OF THE GROUP DURING THE MARATHON FOOTBALL MATCH:
AND ANOTHER BRIEF VIDEO WITH MATEEN NORAY TALKING ABOUT HIS FOOTBALLING JOURNEY SO FAR: