Watch: BBC See Hear’s episode looking at why there’s no categories for Deaf athletes at the Paralympics

Posted on September 8, 2016

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The BBC’s programme for Deaf people, See Hear, went out yesterday, with an item looking into why Deaf athletes are not part of the Paralympic Games.

In 1995, the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) withdrew its membership of the International Paralympic Committee, and that has led to a barrier between the two Games, and any possibility of Deaf athletes competing at the Paralympics, ever since.

The programme features a revealing interview with Craig Crowley, the British former President of the ICSD, who says that the current President’s decision to go it alone in running the Deaflympics (rather than try to link up with the Olympics and Paralympics) is “regrettable.”

Another revealing moment is when presenter Sebastian Cunliffe puts a pile of coins on the ground, representing the £73 million funding for athletes from UK Sport. He shows the funding for Deaf athletes is minuscule compared to their Olympic and Paralympic counterparts. While the team got just over £100,000 in 2013, they are set to get nothing at all to help them take part in the 2017 Deaflympics.

The captain of the GB Women’s football team, Claire Stanicliffe, is interviewed and explains how it’s hard for the team to perform to their full potential when they are also thinking about fundraising so they can take part in the games.

Sebastian also interviews Valery Rukhledev, the current President of the ICSD, who says the International Paralympic Committee has shown no support for Deaf athletes. He also explains that the main obstacle to Deaf athletes taking part in the Paralympics is maintaining the number of sports Deaf athletes compete in.

There’s also a news round up featuring a very interesting short horror film, and an item on a  Deaf waterskiing club.

Watch the episode by clicking here.

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