Larysa Sayevich

Football for me is more than just a game, it is my life. Following my team, Shakhtar Donetsk, has given me some great memories, and it is fantastic to be able to feel like such a part of it.

Football has also provided me with employment. With UEFA EURO 2012 being co-hosted by Ukraine I was appointed as the Donetsk co-ordinator for the National Assembly of Disabled People, CAFE’s local implementing partner for the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion project – Football with No Limits. I find my role to be so rewarding – we still have a long way to go but it is such a great feeling when we are able to have a positive effect and improve accessibility for other disabled people.

I attended the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion training seminar for Audio Descriptive commentary volunteers in Kiev. This form of commentary is invaluable to blind and partially sighted supporters like myself, as when it is done well it paints such a vivid picture of the match. At the start of the seminar, I commented that listening to a football match was often like a black and white movie. By the end of it, I saw a rainbow.

Audio Descriptive commentary can be priceless for blind and partially sighted supporters, and it is crucial that the list of venues to provide this service continues to grow.

I have written a poem that hopefully helps you to see my world.


It’s not easy when you can’t see figures and texts,

People’s emotions and eyes,

But I know for sure that it’s possible to see with your heart,

And with other people’s kindness.


I will ‘borrow’ eyes from many people:

One will lend them for a second, the other – for an hour,

One will help to cross the road,

Another to read a receipt.


Not everyone will be ready to lend them,

But the one who’ll see my pain with his heart will do,

He’ll stop for a while to help me,

And then will rush further for his daily routine.


If somebody ever tries to pour some water

To the glass with his eyes closed,

He will understand immediately:

God save me from this misfortune!


Can’t mention all of them, they are so many,

One said the time, explained the route,

One didn’t let me fall down

On stairs, here and there.


One helped to read a menu or a paper,

Weather forecast, TV programme,

One arranged pills of different colors

According to the doctor’s prescription.


I ‘borrowed’ sight from my husband

My debt to him is growing day by day.

It’s not an easy destiny to know I need him,

To support me and never to betray.


I ‘own’ you, my friends

Who lent your shoulders to me many times,

Your eyes and hands which you lent to me generously,

Gave me hope and faith.


I wouldn’t be able to travel around the world without you,

Wouldn’t have completed any project,

It would be more difficult for me to clean the apartment,

To buy food, or to make dinner.

I ‘borrowed’ a lot,

And I will ‘borrow’ again,

I decided to pay my debt with gratitude

And my interest will be love.