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  • Connor Ahern

Sports Coaching For Deaf and Hearing Children


It is essential for children to learn how to exercise and take care of themselves in order to be healthy. They should learn about stretching, warming up, playing different sports and trying new things. They might not discover a skill or passion for a sport if they never get the chance to try.

I believe Deaf and hearing children should have the opportunity to learn, work and socialise together. If I were a sports coach for children I would work with an interpreter or hearing coach so that I could communicate with the hearing children and all the children could communicate with each other. That way, hearing children would have the opportunity to learn sign language and be exposed to Deaf people so that they could become more aware of Deafness and disability. This would mean that in future Deaf people could be welcomed into professional sports teams and it could improve the experience of Deaf people in society, breaking down the barriers they face as there would be more people who know sign language.

I believe children should have a sports or exercise session of an hour or so every day, starting with basic skills. A few years ago when I was 17, I worked as a sports coach for Deaf children in South Africa. I really enjoyed this experience and developed a good bond with the children. I wouldn't force them to participate in sports if they didn't want to as it's important that children enjoy exercise.

Since arriving in the UK, I have searched for an athletics coach (either Deaf or hearing who can sign) to work with for my own athletic training but this has proven very difficult. Maybe this is a result of not enough sports coaching for Deaf children or perhaps there are not many coaches who learn British Sign Language as they were not exposed to it as children. Perhaps someone out there can suggest somebody to me! 

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