Deaf Sports Australia last week launched its game changing Active Deaf Sports Club program in partnership with Cricket NSW.

Active Deaf Sports Club is a sport specific program that trains coaches and volunteers in basic sports themed sign language and develops skills in communicating with deaf and hard of hearing people.

The first week of the program took place last Friday at Bankstown Oval and was facilitated by Phil Harper, former Chairperson of Deaf Sports Australia, and David Larkin from Deaf Sports NSW.

Both Mr Harper and Mr Larkin are trainers with many years of involvement in deaf sports development.

The focus of the first week of the program was to train coaches and trainers who work with cricket clubs and schools.

Cricket NSW Community Engagement Leader, Julie Stafford, said the involvement with the Active Deaf Sports Club is a key part of the Cricket NSW commitment to inclusion in sport.

“Cricket NSW is committed to skilling our staff to better understand and support people living with disabilities, so they can actively participate in our fantastic sport of cricket,” Stafford said.

Deaf Sports Australia supports the active participation of people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in sports at all levels across Australia, including social sports and elite athletes, and the Active Deaf Sports Club program is one of many initiatives assisting those with this disability participating in sport. 

General Manager of Deaf Sports Australia, Garry West-Bail said there was great excitement about the increasing awareness of the program.

“It is a program that accredits clubs and organisations as being Deaf Friendly,” West-Bail said.

“We are thankful to Julie Stafford and Cricket NSW for … being part of this program and wanting to support and ensure an inclusive environment at Cricket NSW.” 

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