YAKIMA, Wash. -- Lily Ochoa likes track and volleyball, but basketball is her favorite sport. She’s played for years.

“I’m just used to sports,” said Lily, who’s 13 and an eighth-grader at Thorp Middle School. “My family is filled with sports spirit.”

Being visually impaired hasn’t stopped her from playing different sports — and it shouldn’t, said Sean McNally, who brought Lily to Eisenhower High School in Yakima on Thursday. McNally lives with Lily and her aunt, Tara Ochoa, and Ochoa’s 8-year-old son, Isaiah.

“She loves to ride her bicycle,” McNally said. The two of them also play catch with a football, he said.

“You’re only limited by yourself. There’s nothing in this world you can’t do,” McNally said, noting that he and Lily’s aunt encourage Lily’s adventurous spirit.

McNally and Lily traveled to Eisenhower for an event held by members of the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes and staff with the Department of Services for the Blind. Association members came from Vancouver, Wash. — where the nonprofit is based — to bring activities and adapted athletic equipment to students with visual impairments in Educational Service District 105.

Along with sports, students participated in a beeping Easter egg hunt.

“This is our fourth event,” said Kina Blackburn, a teacher of the visually impaired for the Yakima School District. “It’s really fun to see kids so active.”

Blackburn and Jenna Boyle, the other teacher of the visually impaired in the Yakima district, work with Brittany Franks, a teacher in the Selah School District, in organizing the events.

The 18 students who participated Thursday came from several area school districts. Many played goalball, which is designed for the blind and visually impaired. It involves participants lying on the floor, alternating throwing and blocking a ball for points.

Teams of three take turns throwing or rolling a ball with bells embedded inside, earning a point when the ball gets past members of the opposite team. All participants wear eyeshades so partially sighted athletes like Lily can play.

“Nice job, Octavio,” Boyle said after one younger student rolled the ball with enthusiasm.

Goalball competition can get intense, as demonstrated by members of Paralympics teams. Lily tossed the ball with confidence thanks to her long experience participating in sports.

“She was in a basketball tournament with some of the kids” from school, McNally said. “She can see on a limited basis. When she gets up really close, she can read and draw and color.”

Lily uses ZoomText on her iPad for school, and McNally gives her guidance when they’re tossing the football. When she faces a challenge, McNally and Ochoa encourage her to find a solution.

“She just wants to try,” he said.

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