Boxing Blindness

Trainers & Therapists

Trainers & Therapists

Since 2021, Shaun Edwards has been navigating the challenges of living without sight. After a life-altering accident resulted in the loss of his vision, Shaun, now 30, is breaking down stereotypes about the capabilities of people with blindness playing sports.

Three men stand together holding hands and holding them above their heads.

After waking up from a nine-hour surgery, Shaun was in complete darkness. His eyes had been removed due to irreparable damage, plunging him into a world of uncertainty about his future.


“When I woke from my surgery, I woke to nothing. The doctors had removed my eyes, as they could not be saved. It was the scariest moment of my life.”


“I had lost hope for my future. I didn’t know who to reach out to or what to do.”


Six months after his surgery, Shaun knew he needed to forge a new path for himself. Fuelled by his lifelong love for sports, he set his goal on boxing. However, this took work.


“I contacted several boxing gyms and was refused each time because they didn’t know how to train someone who was blind. Despite numerous attempts, I eventually found Boxing Brothers, who welcomed me and provided training regardless of my vision loss.”


Once Shaun had a taste for boxing, he ventured onto his next challenge: the world of Martial Arts. He immersed himself into Judo training at the Uni SA Judo Club as well as Jiu-Jitsu at The MatLab Grappling Academy. Both sports involve ground fighting with throws, rolls, hold-downs, and strikes. The two sports are very similar but have subtle rule differences.


“I recently competed in a Jiu-Jitsu competition where I came third. I was up against sighted people and beat most of them. It was a good feeling, to say the least. I knew what they were thinking; that they could beat a blind person easily, but I showed them what I was capable of, blind or not.”


Since then, Shaun has won Gold at the Grappling Industries Jiu Jitsu Competition and Gold at the Melbourne Judo Nationals.


Shaun averages 15 training sessions of boxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu a week and sometimes trains 3-4 times daily.


“There is no limit to what you can do,” said Shaun.

“I have hopes of becoming a Paralympian in Judo. I have so much determination. These goals I have wouldn’t have been possible without becoming blind.”


Alongside his rigorous training schedule, Shaun uses See Differently’s Orientation and Mobility Training service, which supports him with white cane training. The service has helped Shaun get around confidently and independently.


“I recently walked to my gym. It took me 40 minutes, but I managed to do it. I didn’t think I could have done that without help from See Differently.”


“My advice to anyone struggling with vision loss is to step out of your comfort zone, seek help, and be consistent in what you enjoy doing. After six months of keeping at it, you’ll be proud of what you can achieve.”


To delve deeper into Shaun’s journey, stay updated by following him on Instagram at Shaun_the_blind_boxer. If you would like more information about how See Differently can support you or someone you love, call us on 1300 944 306 or email us at