Deaf athletes aiming for the Deaflympics in Sofia next summer have been given a funding lifeline after Sport England pledged to give them over £125,000 towards their preparations.
UK Deaf Sport will receive more than £125,000 from Sport England to support the UK Team’s preparations for the competition in Bulgaria.
The investment will also fund work to help individual sports to fully integrate young deaf and hard of hearing athletes within their talent programmes so they can realise their full potential.
A UK Team of just over 100 athletes and officials took part in the last Deaflympics in 2009, competing in eight sports and winning 10 medals. A similar sized team is expected to travel to Sofia in July and August for next year’s event.
Held since 1924, the Deaflympics use adapted technology to suit deaf people and is highly regarded as the largest multi-sport event for high-performance Deaf athletes from around the world.
Pre-Games training and preparation will be led by a co-ordinator and performance manager who will be recruited by UK Deaf Sport.
Philip Gerrard, Chair of UK Deaf Sport, said:
“Sport England’s funding will enable us to move forward with our preparations for the games in Sofia next summer by recruiting two staff who will work with our volunteers and medical and interpreting teams. The funding will also support our long-term aim of talent development in Deaf sport which will see us working with national sports bodies to establish and embed deaf performance pathways. We are grateful to Sport England for this timely boost, coming at the end of a fantastic summer of sport in the UK.”
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