Game 11This summer, a squad of GB athletes will once again take the journey to the biggest competition in their respective fields. The challenge faced by these athletes, however, is a reflection of the challenge they face every day. 

From 26th July, Sofia in Bulgaria will be playing host to the 2013 Deaflympics. 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 this event is often overlooked by the wider international community.

International multisport 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 a 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) recognises 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 very much hangs in the balance as they rely on alternative financial support.

Prior to the Deaflympics, UKDS endeavours 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.

Each athlete has a fantastic story to tell and this is a wonderful journey for us to follow. As such, UKDS will be actively encouraging media support and would welcome interview opportunities and event coverage. To learn more about the brilliant efforts of UKDS or to discuss editorial opportunities with athletes of the Deaflympics then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jim Carolan on 0203 216 0022/

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.