2022 Emerging Leader

Elias Mastoras

for his inventiveness in designing and distributing child-sized audible soccer balls that allow blind children not only to play, but also to participate more fully in their communities


Elias Mastoras is chairman of IBSA Blind Football. He was also the national coach of the Greek Blind delegation in the Chess Olympiad in Brazil, in 1996. Mastoras patented an innovative ball that enables blind children access to the game. His ultimate goal: to create more and different opportunities for blind children to engage fully with their communities.

New thinking, new actions

Mastoras had worked for two decades in blind football when one day he met a child named Leandros who had lost his vision at the age of two. He offered the boy a football developed for blind adults, one equipped with sound devices so that players can hear it even when it’s spinning through the air. But there was a problem: the football weighed too much. So Mastoras developed a miniature, lightweight ball designed with bells inside for audible tracking suited for children. To fund the effort, Mastoras’ non-profit Youthorama developed the, “A Ball for All,” campaign through which balls are donated to blind children around the world so that they can play football. In the first four years of the campaign, more than 8,500 child-size blind footballs were distributed across 213 countries. Learn more

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