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Supporting deaf people to play squash
Deaf people will soon have more opportunities to play squash, as a new resource is being launched to pave the way to make the game more accessible.
The guide, Deaf-Friendly Squash, is the first of its kind and has been produced by England Squash & Racketball (ESR) in partnership with the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) and UK Deaf Sport (UKDS). The resource aims to show coaches how, through following simple steps, deaf people can be taught to play and enjoy squash.
Available at www.thebighit.net/try-it/deafsquash, the guide is accompanied by a video which features a range of signs to help coaches support deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate.
Amanda Robinson, Regional Manager at England Squash & Racketball said: "We are keen to ensure every deaf young person and adult can access and enjoy playing squash. We are working closely with NDCS, UKDS and the England Deaf Squash Association to grow participation at the grassroots level and hope that every squash club and coach will get involved. By making a few small changes, we can all make a big difference for deaf players."
Hayley Jarvis, Inclusive Activities Manager at NDCS, said: "It's fantastic that England Squash & Racketball has produced the Deaf-Friendly Squash guide. Involving deaf children in sport is brilliant for their confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately though, too many deaf children are currently denied the opportunity to play squash, because clubs and centres don't know how to fully meet their needs. Thankfully, this is a barrier that can be easily overcome."
"Deafness should not stop children learning how to play squash or any sport. By following simple steps such as using hand gestures or visual aids, teachers and coaches can include a deaf child in squash activities. It would be great to see other sport organisations create equal opportunities for deaf children to enjoy sport."
Lee Dolby, Director of Development for UK Deaf Sport, said "It is great to see a National Governing Body take such a proactive step to engage the deaf community in their sport. The development of resources like this will give clubs and coaches the tools to help them adapt their delivery to become more deaf friendly. All this would not be possible without the support of excellent organisations such as NDCS sharing some of their knowledge and expertise. This shows what can be achieved when organisations work together we hope now to see many more deaf people playing squash over the coming years."
To celebrate the launch of the guide, a fun deaf squash open day will be held at Bishop Stortford Squash Club on 8 September for deaf children, young people and adults, with coaching taking place from 9.30 to 11.30am. The event will coincide with the EDSA Closed Championships and will offer deaf people an opportunity to see matches and meet players who are taking part, from 11.30 - 6pm.
For more information about the event contact Amanda Robinson,
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