Oxford City sign up to deaf-friendly project
Oxford City Football Club has pledged to make football more accessible to deaf people.
The club, based in Marsh Lane, Headington, has signed up to the National Deaf Children’s Society’s (NDCS) Deaf Friendly FC project, which aims to get thousands more deaf children playing football.
Coaches will be trained in sign language and other communication techniques, and the club will be taught a range of deaf-friendly ways to train.
Now the club is urging footballers in Oxford who are deaf or have hearing difficulties to contact them and see what is on offer.
Oxford City chairman Brian Cox said: “The club is proud to have signed the Deaf Friendly FC pledge.
“We played the skilful GB Deaf Squad in a pre-season friendly and our interest and involvement has progressed from that point.
“We are looking forward to developing our playing and coaching opportunities for young deaf people in our community and ensuring we help them reach their full potential in the sport.
“We are committed to supporting deaf footballers and ensuring that the club and its officials are deaf friendly.”
So far 56 clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester United, have signed the pledge and are now working with the charity.
Spokesman Hayley Jarvis said: “We know there has been a severe lack of football opportunities available from grassroots to elite level for deaf children and young people in the past.
“Deafness makes it harder for children to communicate, which can be very isolating.
“Many deaf children and young people find it difficult to participate in football because clubs are not set up to provide good communication.
“This project is revolutionising the sport at all levels for deaf children and young people. We are delighted Oxford City FC has signed the pledge and committed to giving deaf people an equal opportunity to play football.”
The project is being part-funded by a grant from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, which invests money from its partners – the Premier League, The Football Association and the Government – into good causes.
Next year it has pledged a further £129,623 towards the scheme. The FA will give £10,000.
Deaf children and young people who would like to join Oxford City should call Colin Taylor on 07817 885396 or email email@example.com