A cricket club for blind players has been set up in Hawke's Bay, just in time for Blind Week.

Napier man Mike Marsh has helped establish the new blind cricket club after moving back to Hawke's Bay recently.

"Last weekend, we actually set the club up officially," he told Hawke's Bay Today.

Mr Marsh jumped at the chance to move back to the place where he was born and raised when a job opportunity came up after years of living in Wellington and Auckland.


He has been playing blind cricket for 12 years, and has represented New Zealand as part of the Blind Caps.

The game was played with similar rules to cricket for sighted players, he said, but with minor changes such as using a slightly different ball.

"The ball has got little ball bearings in it and the ball is thrown underarm so the players can hear it coming."

The ball was white, so players with some vision could locate it more easily.

"The rules are basically the same."

Mr Marsh said he had put a team together, but they would like a few more players.

The team would compete against teams from other New Zealand regions in a summer series competition.

Other sports such as rugby and soccer have also been adapted for people with little to no vision.

Mr Marsh, who worked as a massage therapist, had a small amount of vision - just under 1 per cent.

He said he has received a lot of help and support from the Blind Foundation over the years - most recently assistance with learning te reo through braille translations.

However, the Blind Foundation has been unable to provide support to all those who need it due to lack of funding, chief executive Sandra Budd said.

"We are currently only able to reach a third of the people who need our help, but with the generous support from all Kiwis, we can do so much more."

The foundation provided emotional support and practical assistance such as providing talking books, canes and guide dogs.

The street collection for Blind Week will be this Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7.

Donations can be made to street collectors with orange buckets, or online at blindfoundation.org.nz