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Club's pledge on deaf

PUBLISHED: 17:56 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:30 14 July 2010

Hethersett Athletic has become one of England's first 'deaf friendly' football clubs by signing up to the National Deaf Children's Society Deaf Friendly Football Club Pledge.

Hethersett Athletic has become one of England's first 'deaf friendly' football clubs by signing up to the National Deaf Children's Society Deaf Friendly Football Club Pledge.

By signing the pledge recently launched by the NCDS the club has committed to opening up the sport to deaf people.

The Deaf Friendly Football Club Pledge is part of a ground-breaking NDCS project designed to make football more accessible to all deaf children. The pledge has been developed to ensure that FA Charter Standard football clubs are deaf friendly and are committed to creating equal playing and coaching opportunities for deaf people.

Hayley Brown, NDCS sports and leisure activities manager said:

“At the moment there is a real lack of football opportunities available from grassroots to elite level for deaf children and young people. Deafness makes it harder for children to communicate which can be very isolating. Many deaf children and young people find it difficult to participate in football because clubs are not set up to provide good communication.

“This project is revolutionising the sport at all levels for deaf children and young people. Every football club that shows its commitment to deaf children by agreeing to sign the pledge will meet with NDCS' dedicated football development officer and receive expert knowledge and resources to aid the club in being truly deaf friendly.

“We are delighted that Hethersett Athletic has signed the pledge, and committed to giving deaf people an equal opportunity to play football.”

Hethersett Athletic chairman Peter Steward said the club was delighted to be part of the scheme.

He said: “As a national community charter club, we are committed to providing football for all irrespective of age, race or disability.

“We are delighted to be part of such an important scheme and look forward to developing our playing and coaching opportunities for deaf people in our community and ensuring we help them reach their full potential in the sport.

“We are committed to supporting deaf footballers and ensuring that the club and its officials are deaf friendly.”

Resources that will be provided to clubs signing the pledge include the opportunity to take part in NDCS' unique coaching deaf footballers course, developed with support from the Football Association, a British sign language for football course, a coaching DVD, practical support and assistance from NDCS volunteers, and help in promoting any deaf friendly football activities.

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