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More training needed for deaf coaches says NDCS

Tue 9th Aug 2011 | Football Club Management

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), which runs the UK’s only FA Level 1 Football Coaching course for deaf coaches, is calling for more football organisations to make FA accredited coaching courses accessible to deaf people.

Deaf people who train as coaches can give deaf children and young people more opportunities to start playing in teams, acting as role models and breaking down barriers in football clubs large and small, says NDCS.

NDCS Inclusive Activities Manager Hayley Jarvis said: “We are delighted to be in the fifth year of running this course for deaf football coaches.  The consistent demand for places shows that more of these courses need to be on offer from other organisations.  There is a severe shortage of opportunities for deaf children to get into football, and without more training for deaf role models like the ones we train, we won’t see the progress deaf young people need.”

20 coaches from across the UK attended the course this month; these newly qualified coaches will then go on to deliver football coaching and clubs.  The charity says it is particularly pleased to have welcomed nine coaches aged 16 and 17 onto the course, part of the next generation of coaches for deaf children. 

Rachel Hardcastle is attending the course on behalf of Leeds Deaf FC: “It is fantastic that NDCS is offering this training.  It’s important that more deaf people train as FA accredited football coaches so that we can become role models and encourage more deaf children into the sport. 

“Finding opportunities to train as a football coach has been very difficult to me because of the communication support that I need.  We need more football clubs and organisations to be open to having deaf coaches and players and to realise that it’s fairly straightforward to make their teams and training accessible.”

The NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Project encourages football clubs of all sizes to open up their teams to deaf young players.  Deaf children are often excluded from mainstream sports activities because clubs fail to consider their needs and find out how they can make their club accessible.  For deaf children, the communication barrier can make football clubs intimidating environments, denying them the same opportunities as other children to take part.  

NDCS has been working with clubs all over the UK to teach them the simple steps they can take to make their clubs accessible and encourage local deaf children to join.  Big name clubs such as Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal have signed up to the NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Club Pledge, alongside small, local clubs.

The NDCS Deaf Friendly FC Project was set up in 2007 with the help of a grant from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation (FF). An additional grant of £129,623 has been awarded by the FF, and the Football Association has also provided £10,000 towards continuing the project in 2010-2011.

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