The conference brought together a line-up of expert speakers and contributors from the world of deaf sport to discuss the key issues and opportunities, explore innovative ideas and exchange examples of better practice with delegates.
Honorary President of UK Deaf Sport and Chief Executive of Action Deafness, Craig Crowley MBE officially opened the conference, delivering the keynote address on Friday 15 May. A big advocate for the visibility and recognition of deaf athletes and deaf sport, Craig was instrumental in co-founding UK Deaf Sport in 2003 and served as the charity’s chair until 2009.
Taking place at The Wesley hotel in London, the first day of the conference saw UK Deaf Sport engage with sport development professionals on how to be innovative when delivery planning, adapting marketing and communications to include deaf people, and understanding research and insight about deaf people’s participation in sport and physical activity.
UK Deaf Sport also introduced delegates to their new community programme ‘DEAFinitely Inclusive,’ that supports organisations to create more inclusive opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing of all ages to play, coach and volunteer in sport.
Throughout the conference delegates made pledges about how they can help to ‘reDEAFine’ deaf sport in their daily work. Some of the pledges included to:
‘Actively engage with DEAFinitely Inclusive and use subtitles on my video content on YouTube.’
‘Create a deaf inclusive basketball session. I now feel more confident to run a session.’
‘Provide more opportunities for deaf people to engage with more sport and physical activity.’
On Saturday 16 May, the conference brought together deaf sports organisations from around the UK and workshop sessions focused on how they can maximise their funding and investment potential. Barry Horne, Chief Executive at the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) delivered a keynote address to delegates on EFDS’s vision, ‘disabled people are active for life’.
Feedback from delegates has been positive about UK Deaf Sport’s first national conference 2015:
‘Very informative and valuable time spent with other like-minded people.’
‘Really interesting insight, which gives support to ideas about the best marketing practice.’
UK Deaf Sport’s first national conference: ReDEAFining Deaf Sport has been a great success, Lee Dolby, Director of Development at UK Deaf Sport said:
‘It was great to see so many organisations come together to share and learn the steps that can be taken to make sport and physical activity more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. The conference has been a fantastic opportunity for us to engage and with providers of sport and share expertise. Along with valuable insight that we’ve gained through our national survey that can support organisations to understand the needs and motivations of the audience. We hope that this will lead to future opportunities where we can continue to ‘reDEAFine’ deaf sport in partnership others.’
The national conference: ReDEAFining Deaf Sport supports the Charity’s on-going work to improve the provision and access to sport and physical activity for deaf and hard of hearing people, enabling them to reach their full potential in sport.
For more information about UK Deaf Sport and opportunities for people with a hearing impairment visit www.ukdeafsport.org.uk.