Deaflympics 2013 - UK Deaf Sport Calls for Support

Author: UK Deaf Sport - Contact:
Published: 2013/07/16 - Updated: 2014/03/14
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: UKDS endeavors to highlight the courageous efforts of the athletes as they prepare to represent the GB on the international stage.

Main Digest

On the 21st of July a squad of GB athletes will take the journey to Sofia, Bulgaria for the 2013 Deaflympics. The challenge faced by these athletes is a reflection of the challenge they face every day as a deaf athlete in the UK.

The Deaflympics is the primary international event for deaf and hard of hearing elite athletes around the world. As with any elite athlete, being selected to represent your country at such an event is the pinnacle of their sporting achievements.

Preparing for this year's Deaflympics has been a unique experience. The games were thrown in to doubt due to the economic crisis in Europe and, whilst UK Deaf Sport were very pleased to hear that they would be going ahead, everyone involved has had a much shorter time in which to prepare.

Consequently, each UK athlete has a unique and fascinating story to tell of their journey to the games and UK Deaf Sport is actively encouraging media support and would welcome interview opportunities and event coverage prior to or during the games themselves.

The Deaflympics was first held in Paris, 1924, making it the second oldest multi-sport and cultural festival in history - second only to the Olympic Games. It is remarkable, therefore, that the wider international community often overlooks this event.

International multi-sport competition always carries with it a sense of the grand and evokes a great sense of passion and pride amongst athletes and supporters alike- one need only look at the incredible success of London 2012, particularly the Paralympics. The Paralympics' origins as rehabilitation program for injured soldiers in World War Two offers no capacity for deaf athletes to partake unless they enter under their 'other' disability. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes the Deaflympics on a par with the Paralympics and UK Deaf Sport (UKDS) manages the GB Deaflympic team to ensure that competitors have the best support available during preparations and competitions.

One of the few unfortunate effects of the UK's successful bid to host the Olympic games was that the financial investment required to fulfill the obligation saw funding divested from margin sports, including UKDS. Resultantly, the journey to Sofia and the dreams of the UK's deaf athletes has undergone added pressure, as they have had to rely on alternative financial support and fund raising.

UKDS endeavors to highlight the courageous efforts of the athletes as they prepare to represent the GB on the international stage. To shine a light on the heroics of the individuals as well as highlight the need for Great Britain to rally behind our sporting heroes once again and support Team GB in their quest for glory.

You can help UK Deaf Sport to continue to support deaf athletes and team GB in their quest for glory. Text 'UKDS 13 £10' to 70070 to donate to UKDS and make a difference today.

Team GB Squad List (Athletes unless stated otherwise)

Melanie Jewett - Southampton
John Ruddy - Glasgow
Bethan Lishman - Cockermouth
Colette Doran - Carlisle
Rebecca Zelic - London
Lauren Peffers - South Shields
Rebecca Foster (Coach)- Worcester

Kirstie Allen - Yeovil
Rajeev Bagga - Coventry
Sarah Bowers (Official) - Hull
Mike Burris - Coleford
Dominic Caswell - Dunstable
Andrea Hardwick (Official) - Leeds
Kevin Harper (Official) - Hull
Lesley Holdsworth - Hull
Xander Hurley - Bromley

Thomas Smith - Cardiff
Ian Smith - Cardiff (Coach)

David Grant - Fife

Lowe, Rob - New Malden

Lucy Walkup - Glenrothes, Scotland
Thomas Baxter - Esher
Annabel Towns -
Oliver Kenny -
Luke Nisted - Liverpool
Jack McComish - Lanark
Emily Noden - Holywell, Wales
Alexander Cranford - Worthing
Danielle Joyce - Ayrs, Scotland
Renee Stewart - Isle of Wight
Angela Holmes (Coach) - Mansfield
Andrew Roberts (Coach) - Denbigh, Wales

Bethany Brookes - Reigate
Cathy Fletcher - Burderop, Wiltshire
Lewis Fletcher - Burderop, Wiltshire
Jack Clifton - Purley
Pete Wilcox - Tiverton
Stuart Wilkinson (Coach) - New Denham

Emma Brown - Faversham
Damaris Cooke - London
Donna Cross - Mirfield. West Yorkshire
Rebecca East-O'Keefe - London
Danielle Evans - Liverpool
Debbie Hibbet - Tamworth
Louise Hogan
April Malin - Northampton
Susan McKeown - Herburb, Tyne & Wear
Gemma Newson - Great Yarmouth
Sarah Page - Newcastle
Jessica Pert
Lhathini Pushpalingham - London
Gemma Sanders - Launceston
Claire Stancliffe
Mandy Tobin - London
Carly Waters - Basildon
Victoria Wenman - Walton On Thames
Laura Wiseman - Norwich
Michael Boyne (Official)
Mark Gill (Official)
Christopher Gwynn (Official) - Basingstoke
Sharon Hirshman (Official) - Sheffield
David Sims (Official) - Nantwich

'With kind thanks to our communications sponsor Total Ltd, Deaf Direct's phone provider, who is kindly supporting TeamGB at the Deaflympics through the provision of mobile handsets and air-time credits for the duration of the event.'

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