Cricket: On tour with the blind West Indian commentator

By Adrian Seconi -

Kern Tyson is like any other sports broadcaster except for one important difference - he is blind.

The sports-mad 30-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago is in Dunedin to cover the New Zealand-West Indies test with the help of his wife, Gale Browne-Tyson, for the Family Focus Broadcasting Network (FFBN).

Mr Tyson was born with a condition called keratoconus and can only make out outlines and shapes.

But the avid sports fan refuses to let his disability get in the way of his passion. He fell in love with cricket and football as a youngster and would tune into the radio and listen to broadcasts.

"Even when I was still at school I would go home and listen to games in Australia and New Zealand late into the night," he said.

He began working at FFBN in 2002 and it was there he was able to put his passion into practice. "Every time I went on air I spoke about sport. So eventually I said, 'This is my passion and I need to get into writing about sport and become a sports analyst."'

Of course, he faces a unique challenge in that he can not see the action.

But his passion plus a healthy imagination and an extraordinary memory compensate for his lack of vision.

To get the information for his regular reports back home, Mr Tyson listens to the commentary, talks to the other journalists about the game and questions the players and coaches in the press conferences.

It is his first tour and he said it would not be possible without the help of his wife.

"She is the reason why I'm here. I just feel God placed her in my life for a particular purpose: to allow my dreams to come true and to fulfil my dreams."


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